It's been three years since I added the "Epilogue" to Tommy's NICU story and over five years (now 22 years) since we first began creating his Web site. Today, August 29, 2000, Tommy reached an important milestone -- he started Kindergarten. Although I basically left the story as complete in 1997, perhaps today is a day to make a special addition.
Tommy is now six. We held him back from Kindergarten last year because he didn't seem ready -- plus, we felt his birth date did not reflect his true age which is more consistent with children who were born in November or December of 1994. However, looking at his classmates now, it appears he may be a bit a head of some in some areas, behind in others -- guess time will tell whether we made the correct decision.
I have to admit I wiped a tear or two from my eyes this morning when we delivered him to school. I know I wasn't the only parent, it's quite common for parents to do that when they deliver their child to school that first time. Perhaps, however, it was a bit different in our case considering where Tommy was just 6 years ago. He's come a long way from the sick little preemie pictured at the beginning of this story.
When I wrote the Epilogue in 1997, I mentioned that we rarely considered his adjusted age. From the above, you see that we did when making the kindergarten decision. However, that decision really was made a while back. Today, this site is my biggest reminder that Tommy was a preemie. Without the positive feedback of the many visitors to this site, I'd have little incentive for keeping it going -- but I promise I will as long as we continue to get visitors!
That said, it appears this site has moved a bit out of the foreground it once occupied in the Internet preemie world. In May 1995, Tommy's CyberNursery was one of the very first preemie sites, and the first to appear in the major search engines. I'm proud of that, but happy to let others to take the lead and expand online support for preemie parents all over the world.
I'd like to close this brief note with a word of encouragement to all who are currently going through the NICU experience. We have been where you are now, yet we have moved on. Our 1 pound 10 ounce (739 gram) preemie is now a 40+ pound kindergartener -- and we are proud of him and look forward to his accomplishments in the years to come!
We wish you all the very best and hope you check in on this site from time to time to see the latest on our family.
(AKA Tommy and Alyssa's Dad)
2017 Note -- that same "kid" is now well over 100 pounds and is currently a college student!