'Live with Kelly and Ryan' Fans Get Emotional After Kelly Ripa Tells Story of Dropping Son at College

Kelly Ripa is pulling back the curtain on the moment she and Mark Consuelos became “empty-nesters” and the story has Live viewers in tears—yes seriously.

On Tuesday’s episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, the 50-year-old TV personality opened up about dropping her youngest child, Joaquin, off at college. The 18-year-old just started his freshman year at the University of Michigan, where he plans to continue his wrestling career.

“We took our youngest son to college,” Ripa told Ryan Seacrest and viewers. “We dropped him off. It was hard—it was really hard.”

Ripa went on to tell a story of a nighttime tradition she used to have her kids when they were younger that eventually became uncool when they got to their teenage years.

She continued, “I would tuck them in bed and give them kisses and cuddles and I would say, ‘Goodnight.’ Then I would leave and then come back and be like, ‘One more one more.’ They would giggle and laugh and we would do it again and it was always exciting. And then they got to be like 15/16 and they’re like, ‘It’s weird.’ So, it was my 50th birthday and the kids—even Lola—came home and said, ‘Can we sleep in your room tonight and wake up so that when you wake up, as 50, we’re there?’ So, I kissed them all goodnight and Lola goes, ‘Do the thing that you used to do.’ And I left my room and did it and they loved it. Then I started doing it again, whenever they were home. And Joaquin—I would do it until he left.”

According to Ripa, she kept the tradition going in the moment she dropped off Joaquin. “We dropped him off at school and we gave him a hug and it was actually brutally painful. Anyway, I gave him a hug and I said, ‘I did not realize 18 years would go so fast.’ And he didn’t say anything, he turned to walk away and I said, ‘Wait, Joaquin. One more!’ And he kept walking. I knew that it was happening to him too—the emotion.”

Throughout the anecdote, everyone in the audience (AKA the show’s crew and producers) could be heard saying, ‘Aww,’ and sympathizing with the mother of three. Ripa herself was almost tearing up as she told the story.

The video was shared on Live’s official Instagram account with the caption, “I’m not’re crying.” Fans and followers filled the comments section with their heartfelt reaction to the post. One user wrote, “ This made me cry this morning. thanks for sharing this special moment!” Another fan added, “It was a really really sad day when my son left for college. I feel ya girl. Wish he had turned around and got one more hug.”

Hang in there, Kelly. Thanksgiving break is just around the corner.

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