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Joanna Gaines reveals son Duke's bittersweet milestone in rare family video: 'Makes mama cry'

The Magnolia Network founder and former HGTV star shares five kids with her husband Chip Gaines

Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
May 26, 2024
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Joanna Gaines knows all too well bittersweet family milestones don't get any easier no matter how many times you go through them.

The latest for the Magnolia Network founder is her third kid, son Duke, not only ringing in his 16th trip around the sun, but also getting his driver's license just in time for the milestone birthday.

In addition to the birthday boy, the doting mom and her husband Chip Gaines, who she married in 2003, share kids Drake, 19, Ella Rose, 17, Emmie Kay, 14, and Crew, five.

Joanna Gaines' son Duke celebrates 16th birthday

In honor of the special day, Joanna took to Instagram to share a glimpse of the family's celebration, from decking out her home in birthday decor to a clip of Duke driving into the family home.

The video montage the former HGTV star shared first sees her standing on top of her table, hanging plenty of blue-hued balloons and a birthday garland, and the table is full of gift-wrapped presents, plus a basketball, football, and tennis balls.

She next shared a sweet selfie Chip took from the DMV confirming Duke passed his driver's license test, before another clip of her waiting at the end of the family's long driveway at their Waco, Texas home as Duke drove in.

Photo shared by Joanna Gaines on Instagram May 26 of her son Duke's 16th birthday celebrations© Instagram
Joanna decked out the family home for Duke

"Third time doing this and it still makes mama cry," Joanna admitted in her caption, and fans were quick to take to the comments section under the post to ensure how much they could relate.

MORE: Joanna Gaines shares radiant selfie with rarely-seen children from sweet family outing

MORE: Joanna Gaines looks so striking in figure-hugging dress for extra special date night with husband Chip Gaines

"I feel your pain," one wrote, as others followed suit with: "So beautiful & bittersweet, Jo... Never quite get over how we don’t get to keep all the moments — we just get to witness all the moments," and: "Hang in there mama!! It never gets easier," as well as: "I cannot believe you now have 3 that have turned 16! I have watched your shows from day 1 and remember how small they were!! Where has time gone???"

Photo shared by Joanna Gaines on Instagram May 26 of her son Duke, 16, getting his driver's license© Instagram

Aside from Duke officially becoming a 16-year-old and licensed driver, Joanna last year also saw her firstborn, Drake, become the first of her kids to leave home for college, as he enrolled at Baylor University in his hometown.

MORE: Joanna Gaines shares adorable photo featuring four rarely-seen kids before son Crew's birth: 'One of my favorites'

Joanna previously opened up about the emotions that came with the transition in a personal essay for her magazine Magnolia Journal ahead of his departure.

Photo shared by Joanna Gaines on Instagram April 2024 of her with Chip Gaines at The Masters© Instagram
Chip and Joanna have been married since 2003

"In the grand scheme of heartbreaking things, this one comes with a lot of gratitude and excitement," she said at the time, though noted: "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."

"I catch glimpses now of what that life will look like and wonder if –– or how many times –– that might bring me to the floor."

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