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 +

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The best party in the world

Fintan, four, is rather fond of drawing and painting. His compositions tend to the well-designed and/or story telling. There is always something in particular going on.

About a month ago, he showed us one painting that was heavy on the dark green and other dark colours - and had been done on dark paper. Off to one side was a large cat.

"It is called Leopard at a Party", said Fintan, to his mummy, Syahidah.

Syahidah looked at it for a moment, drinking in its anatomically correct cat, its well-observed trees and other animal guests and pointed out something she had noticed:

"Fintan, the Leopard hasn't got any eyes."

Fintan looked at his mummy, then, as if she had overlooked something pretty obvious:

"Mummy, it doesn't need eyes: it is dark!"

What a wonderful - and logical - perspective he has on things.

Sadly, that evening, when I came home, I found Fintan on the floor with a pair of scissors. He had cut up his wonderful painting. Perhaps, I thought, he had taken Syahidah's remark as a criticism.

I asked him why he had cut it up. He pointed at a part of it and said: "I wanted to take that bit out." I had an awful feeling that it was the Leopard he was referring to.

It wasn't entirely clear which bit, though - but perhaps, he had become dissatisfied with his own work, once the omission had been pointed out. It was a pity because it was a well-observed painting that got everything just right - apart from the eyes of one who did not need to see.

It seems that Fintan is both creative - and sensitive. Though, of course, I cannot be sure why he decided to cut up the painting. Perhaps he had another creative intent behind it. I, for one, however, would have liked to have kept "Leopard at a Party".

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and ten months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and three months, and Tiarnan, twenty months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 6:39 PM 


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