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 +

Monday, May 21, 2007

Is sweetness of character innate?

In this modern world, in which selfishness is the creed of almost all, few think of others. Fintan, three, however, is an exception.

Today, I took Fintan to the pool, while his brother Ainan was still at school. He played quite contentedly, even though the pool was largely empty. When it came time to go we went to the shop and bought a few things: including a drink for him and some chocolate sweets.

Curiously, as we were about to leave the shop, he said: "Can I hold the sweets?"

Those words struck me as odd: not, "Can I eat the sweets?" but "Can I hold the sweets?"

I thought at first he was being euphemistic, and that he meant to eat them, but, as we walked back home he held them in his hands, making no attempt to open them.

After a few minutes of this, I took them off him and said: "Would you like me to open them?"

He shook his head. "No. Because later my brother cry." He wouldn't, of course, but in Fintan's world that was something to be avoided. I was touched by his words. Here was a three year old who was very fond of his sweets, who wouldn't open a pack of chocolates because his older brother, Ainan, wasn't present to share in them.

"You are a nice boy, Fintan." I remarked, warmly.

He shook his head, at once, rather sharply, actually: "No, not nice: smart!" he corrected me. "Smart or good." he further elucidated.

It seems that he has already learnt to value smartness or goodness above niceness - which is a pity, in a way, since he is, in fact, of a very sweet character - so "nice" is a fair description.

So I walked all the way home with my smart, good and nice three year old son.

Once there, I offered to open the drink for him: "No." He shook his head, "Wait until my brother comes."

I smiled at that. Smartness and goodness he might prize - but he just can't stop being nice - even towards someone who wasn't there and who would never know that Fintan had made a sacrifice in his favour, in his absence - unless I told him so.

What a sweetie.

(If you would like to read more of Fintan, three, or his gifted brothers, Ainan Celeste Cawley, seven years and five months, or Tiarnan, fifteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted children and gifted adults in general. Thanks.)

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
posted by Valentine Cawley @ 7:03 PM 


Post a Comment

<< Home

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape