The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tiarnan and the Christmas Tree

Tiarnan is now eleven months old. It is a simple matter to realize that this is his first Christmas. He had never seen a Christmas tree before, but when he did, he was most taken by it.

Our tree was rather tall - about eight feet - in dark green plastic, real trees being both expensive and unimpressive in Singapore being, generally, on the small side. We had decorated it in baubles and sparkling chains - and, most interestingly, from Tiarnan's point of view, in coloured lights that flashed on and off in varying rhythms.

On the first day that he saw it, he stood for a long time, studying it, looking it up and down, a happy, bedazzled expression on his face. When it came to time to go to bed that night, he did something very sweet: he waved his hand at the tree, in rhthym to the flashing lights. This could have had two meanings - one to say goodbye, the other to recognize the blinking of the lights, since his hand was opening and closing in their rhythm.

Yesterday, he saw his beloved tree again. We had taken off all the baubles and the lights and the chains - and packed its branches upwards ready for storage. Again, he looked long at it. This time however, he was not impressed. He shook his head emphatically from side to side - as if to say: "That is not how it should be." I think he was a little forlorn: his beloved tree was no more.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 3:39 PM 


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