Celebrating my child’s milestones as he graduates kindergarten

A columnist's son has a joyous day at the end of the school year

Keara Engle avatar

by Keara Engle |

Share this article:

Share article via email
main graphic for the column

As the school year comes to an end, my 6-year-old son, Cayden, had a kindergarten graduation ceremony. I was so glad I could attend, because Cayden was really looking forward to it. His face lit up when he saw my mother and me in the crowd.

My favorite part was when the children performed three songs. I thought Cayden might be nervous about doing this in front of a large crowd, but boy was I wrong! Without missing a beat, he sat in his wheelchair, singing and dancing alongside his friends.

Due to his infantile-onset Pompe disease, Cayden’s mobility is pretty limited. However, one thing he’s always enjoyed is dancing. He mainly uses his upper body, as he can’t really move his legs much on his own.

It was fun watching him show off his dance moves. A little extra movement never hurts, and I’m sure his physical therapist would be proud of the way he used his muscles and did his best to perform, despite it being a bit harder for him than most kids.

Recommended Reading
An illustration of a strand of DNA highlights its double-helix structure.

New GAA mutations linked to infantile-onset disease

After the songs, three kindergarten teachers took turns presenting the graduation certificates. With a big smile on his face, Cayden excitedly held up his certificate as his nurse pushed him across the stage. It was so cute to watch.

Afterward, the families went outside to enjoy popsicles and ice-cold lemonade. Some kids played on the playground. I asked Cayden if he wanted to go on his special needs swing, but he declined. He was too busy chatting up his friends, which I enjoyed seeing.

The event was well organized, and I’m thankful for everyone at the school that hosted it. While they’re just young kids, they still worked hard all year, so a celebration was well deserved!

All in all, the graduation ceremony was a huge success. I can’t even count the times I saw Cayden smiling. I’m certain he is just as proud of himself as I am. He’s been through hard times in his few years of life, and we didn’t know if he’d ever make it this far.

It feels like yesterday when I gave birth to Cayden and we learned about his disease. Now I’m celebrating having a kindergarten graduate. It almost makes me scared to blink. Before I know it, he’ll be a high school graduate. For now, I’ll live in the moment and soak up all of these precious moments and milestones with my first child.

Note: Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pompe Disease News or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Pompe disease.


Brian White avatar

Brian White

This is so nice!! I was tearing up a little just reading it. You're an amazing mother!! But having raised 2 kids - trust me - it gets a lot harder!!


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.