In celebrating her eldest son's Sweet 16, Joanna Gaines took a moment to reminisce about the early days.
The former HGTV star and current Magnolia businesswoman marked her oldest son Drake’s 16th birthday Friday with a post on Instagram, alongside an adorable photo of her Drake as a toddler. Gaines also took a moment to pay tribute to the support she received as a new mom.
“Drake was my little shop baby and he came to work with me every day,” she wrote. “I was either wearing him on me or he was sleeping in the pack n play behind the counter.”
When Drake was born, Gaines and her husband Chip Gaines were buying and remodeling homes. It would still be nearly a decade before their hugely popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper” would launch. In 2005, when Drake was born, she was a first-time mother learning how to balance a baby and a business.
“One of the things I remember most about those early days of chasing dreams and being a new mom was all the wisdom, encouragement, and support that came from other moms who would come in to shop,” she said. “The one consistent thing they all would say is, 'Cherish this time and hold him tight, because before you know it, he will be driving one day and then off to college.'"
It was only one year ago Drake got his driver’s permit, a moment Gaines said at the time was one of the “hard and beautiful moments of beginnings and ends” that comes from being a parent.
Gaines said in her Instagram post on Friday that in celebrating Drake’s birthday, she is also celebrating all the people who helped her when he was a toddler.
“I'm forever grateful for those customers who unknowingly became my mentors. I've held on to their words all these years and tried my darnedest to savor the moments along the way—but dang they were right, it happened so fast.”
Gaines and her husband, who married in 2003, have four children in addition to Drake, including sons Duke and Crew, and daughters Ella Rose and Emmie Kay. Though the Gaines’ wrapped up their HGTV show in 2018, they have since expanded their business into furniture, restaurants and media. Their TV network, named after their company, is slated to launch later this year.