Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos recently dropped their youngest son off at college in Michigan.
The talk-show host called the moment she said goodbye to him "brutally painful."
Joaquin reached his goal "through hard work, determination, and remediation," Ripa said in March.
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Kelly Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos are officially empty-nesters, but their emotions about that are a bit complicated.
The "Live with Kelly and Ryan" host got candid about the moment she and Consuelos dropped their youngest son, Joaquin Consuelos, off at college, in a conversation shared on the show's Instagram account.
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"It was actually brutally painful," she told cohost Ryan Seacrest during their morning chat. "I gave him a hug and I said, 'I did not realize that 18 years would go so fast.'"
After hugging him goodbye once, she asked him for "one more" as per a family tradition but admitted while holding back tears that Joaquin didn't comply - probably because he was also feeling the weight of the moment.
"He turned to walk away and I said, 'Wait, Joaquin, one more' and he kept walking," she said, explaining that she recognized "the emotion" was really hitting her son.
Joaquin announced on Instagram in March that he had committed to attending the University of Michigan, where he is a member of the wrestling team. Ripa also noted that Joaquin is the first of her three children to move out of New York state for college.
It's a bittersweet milestone too because, as ET previously reported, Ripa opened up in February about how Joaquin has some learning disabilities that made his college application experience harder than most.
"Mark got very emotional and very choked up because he said, 'You know, I never thought he would be able to go to college because he was profoundly dyslexic and dysgraphic,'" Ripa said, sharing that her son reached his goal "through hard work, determination, and remediation."