Joanna Gaines’ Eldest Son is Officially a High School Graduate: “We’re So Proud of You, Drake”

Joanna Gaines and her husband, Chip Gaines, have a lot to be proud of as they watch their eldest son, Drake Gaines, walk across the stage at his high school graduation. The 45-year-old mother of five took to her Instagram to share a video montage of Drake’s childhood and a photo of him at the graduation. 

“It feels like just yesterday that we were cheering him on as he took his first steps…but last weekend, as he walked across the stage to receive his high school diploma (!!) we were cheering him on as he took his first steps into a world beyond what he’s known. We’re so proud of you, Drake,” she wrote in the caption. 

“Melt. My. Heart,” she wrote in another Instagram post, which shows Drake sitting in his cap and gown with his younger brother, Crew, on his lap while he waits his turn to walk across the stage. Drake will soon be a college freshman as he embarks on the next chapter of his life – it’s unclear where he’ll be attending.

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This isn’t the first time Chip and Joanna Gaines have opened up about their eldest son graduating high school. In August 2022, Joanna published an article in the Magnolia Journal and shared a message about fortitude – in which she wrote about how their family’s dynamic will change after her son’s graduation. 

“Soon, our oldest son, Drake, will be leaving home for college. In the grand scheme of heartbreaking things, this one comes with a lot of gratitude and excitement. But still, my first child is moving away, and our family dynamic will change because of it, and that can feel like a loss of its own,” Joanna wrote. 

She also spoke with PEOPLE at the time, again mentioning her son’s graduation and how it causes her to want to slow down time – noting it feels like just yesterday that Drake was a baby, but now he’s all grown up. Chip Gaines joked that his wife has been an emotional wreck over it, but Joanna didn’t quite agree. 

“I think, like anything, we’ve done our job. And now with this little boy, man, whatever he is, it’s going to be exciting to see what he becomes, and I think it’s healthy,” Chip told PEOPLE in August. “I think for us, it’s the realization that we’re this tight little family unit and we’re a bigger family,” Joanna Gaines added. 

Joanna Gaines Reveals Her Way of Slowing Down Time

Joanna Gaines is well-aware that you can’t slow time down – it’s one of those things that never stops, no matter how much we want it to. With that said, the 45-year-old mother does feel like you can slow time down – figuratively, at least – through a change in mindset and a change in your overall outlook on life. 

“But when you choose and you’re intentional about what it is you do during the day and how you spend your evenings in some, I think unique way, you can actually slow time down and really savor those moments,” she told PEOPLE. While you can’t actually slow time down, you can create the illusion of it.

And while their son graduating is something they’re experiencing for the first time as parents, it’s a feeling they’re going to have to get used to in the coming years – considering they have four more children who will one day walk down that stage and three of them will be doing so within the next five years or so. 

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Chip and Joanna Gaines first met in 2001 and tied the knot on May 31, 2003 after two years of dating. They didn’t waste much time in starting their family, giving birth to Drake in February 2005. Today, they’re parents to five children – Drake, 18, Duke, 15, Ella Rose, 16, Emmie Kay, 13, and Crew, 4.

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