Kelly Ripa Opens Up About the Unexpected Emotional Impact of Dropping Off Daughter Lola at College
During Tuesday’s episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, the mother of three, 48, opened up about helping Lola, 18, move into her dorm and leaving her at New York University for the very first time.
For the milestone event, which occurred over the Aug. 24-25 weekend, Ripa said she was joined by her husband Mark Consuelos and their youngest son Joaquin, 16. (The couple’s eldest son, Michael, 22, also attends NYU and was moving into his own apartment in the Big Apple.)
But while Ripa expected the drop-off to be emotional for her and Consuelos, she was particularly taken aback at how much it affected her younger two children, who are only 20 months apart.
“We moved Lola into her dorm and it’s one of those things that you don’t realize how close [the kids are],” Ripa admitted. “The younger two are really close in age. Like, I didn’t even know I was pregnant with the third one because I was still nursing the second one!”
“I just assumed that, you know, I was just gaining weight from nursing. I was that one person who was gaining weight from nursing,” Ripa continued. “So they really are very, very close and I didn’t realize how close they were until it was time to say goodbye.”
The talk show co-host went on to share a number of photos from the drop-off, including one of Lola in her new dorm — complete with ombre pink bedding and her “old school” refrigerator, which Ripa said “looks like it’s from the ’50s.”
“She has four roommates so it’s quite crowded in there,” Ripa shared of the room. “[They] all just met, it’s all brand new. Scary and exciting … The room is so tiny, you just forget how tiny it is!”
Other photos featured an “overwhelmed” Joaquin sleeping on his sister’s bed as the family continued to set up the “tiny” dorm room, a sweet group shot of Lola with her parents, and a touching snap of Joaquin and Lola hugging as they said goodbye.
Aside from the sentimental moments, Ripa said there were plenty of jokes to go around.
The mom of three revealed that her husband’s words of wisdom to his only daughter prior to leaving were: “Don’t forget to get the syllabus, the syllabus is your best friend! Let the syllabus be your guiding light [and] time management is your friend.”
As for whether or not Ripa and Consuelos shed any tears at the final goodbye?
“There weren’t real tears but there were lots of ‘Don’t think I’m gonna be home before Thanksgiving because I’m not. I’m not gonna be home before Thanksgiving. You won’t see me before Thanksgiving,'” Ripa said, mimicking Lola.
“To that, I said, ‘I’ll see you in four hours when you come home because you don’t know how to use the washing machine!'” the actress quipped.
This isn’t the first time that Ripa has opened up about leaving her daughter at college.
Late last month, Ripa and Consuelos helped Lola moved into her dorm and commemorated the moment with a sweet photo on Instagram.
“The nest is getting roomy…💕,” Ripa captioned a heartwarming photo of herself giving her second-born a hug and kiss during the drop-off.
Consuelos, 48, also shared the same photo of his two ladies, writing, “2 down… 1 to go…❤️❤️❤️❤️.”
A few days prior to dropping Lola off at her new home, the mom of three shared an emotional throwback of her daughter.
In the Instagram post, a young Ripa and her husband cradle their then-newborn daughter at her christening in 2001 — both parents looking down lovingly at their baby girl.
She included the fitting Throwback Thursday hashtag, writing, “#tbt 2001 from your Christening to college. In the blink of an eye. I’m not crying. You’re crying 😢 (actually Daddy’s sobbing) 😭.”
The Riverdale star confirmed Ripa’s caption by commenting a crying face emoji on the post, accompanied by hearts.
Ripa later revealed that Lola made alterations to her emerald prom dress designed by New York-based tailor Raza Wijdan “behind [their] backs,” adding, “That’s why the girls are fully on display.”