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 +

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tiarnan's sense of loss

How young can a baby feel a sense of loss at the departure of someone? I wonder because Tiarnan today appears to be pining for someone now absent.

For the past five months, we have had someone living in our house who used to spend a lot of time with Tiarnan. Every morning, she would take him for a walk to the playground and spend a couple of hours out with him.

This morning, Tiarnan seemed distressed. I held him in my arms and he pointed to where he wanted to go. His face grimaced with unshed tears and I understood, then, that he was searching for the one no longer here. In the course of the morning, he led me to all the haunts at which he might expect to find her, pointing the way out to me. Finally, he led me to her room, where he saw her empty bed. He directed me to take him on a tour of some of her remnant effects, unspeaking all the while, as he took in the very clear fact of her absence. I think he understood that she would not be here anymore.

It is sad to see Tiarnan so. He is too young to understand that people have lives to move on with and cannot be there all the time. Yet, the "absent one" had been a feature of his life, for almost half of his lifetime - the loss is something he evidently feels, acutely.

Every day, I learn something from my children that makes me appreciate better, what wonderful beings young children are - and the people they grow up to be, too (if all goes well enough!).

Have a hug Tiarnan. (He wanted lots of those today...a form of compensation I suppose.)

(If you would like to read more of Tiarnan, Fintan or Ainan (a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and two months), please go to: I also write of education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted children and gifted adults in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 2:06 PM 


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