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, November 26, 2007

Conquering insurmountable difficulties

I learn much from simply being with my children. I learn about people, about life, and character. I learn about what makes people what they are. All these lessons are there to be had, if one would only open one's eyes to them.

Two weeks ago, on the 12th November, I was in a playground with Tiarnan. He had climbed onto a horse, on a carousel and pointed towards another horse, beside which I stood, indicating that I should mount my one. My horse was taller than his. It was also not meant for adults. So, I was reluctant to try its strength with my inordinate weight. Therefore, I pretended to an inability to reach this taller horse. I lifted my right leg, in an effort to climb onto it, and strained to reach it, failing, to do so.

Tiarnan looked at me, silently, evaluating the situation.

I tried to mount the horse, again - and failed, again, my leg unable to go over the high horse.

Tiarnan took in this scene and made a decision. He climbed off his horse, taking his leg around and off its back and dropped down onto the floor in a fairly fluid motion. He then hurried over to my horse and reached up to it, with his arm, his hand grasping the "saddle". He began to pull himself up with one hand. Then he flung his leg upwards and hooked it over the top of the horse and using the force of hand and hooked leg combined, he levered himself up onto the horse - one built for a much older child than him, for it was essentially unreachable to a toddler - at least, one would have supposed so. After some effort, he managed to pull himself into the saddle.

He looked me straight in the eye, then and, there being no need for words, he pointed back over his shoulder at the shorter horse he had vacated.

His message was clear. "I am small," his eyes said, "and you are large. I was able to climb into that smaller horse, so you can, too. By the way, I climbed into this one, too."

I suppose, if I had really been unable to climb onto the horse, I might have felt a little shame. As it was, my bluff had been called. I could hardly now pretend to be unable to climb the horse he had so easily climbed, himself.

I said nothing. I moved to the smaller horse, threw my leg over it, and pretended to settle my weight upon it.

He was satisfied. Daddy had joined him on the carousel.

I wonder what he thought, however, that Daddy could not mount the horse, but he could? Did he think less of me, or more of himself? There was no indication that he had thought any such thought, at all - his actions were those of a pragmatist. "I can do it, so I shall do it.", he said, by his you do the other one.

All of this leads to a thought, however. I had proven, to him, that a man my size couldn't mount the larger horse. What made him think that he could do it, where I could not?

There is a confidence, in him, I feel, at his physical abilities. Either that, or he has a good understanding of his own capabilities and knew that the taller horse was within his ability.

On show, I think, is an interesting character: one not afraid of challenges and one determined to overcome them. It should stand him in good stead for the life to come. An appetite for challenge comes in handy in all walks of life - whichever he chooses for his own, in time to come.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and no months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and five months, and Tiarnan, twenty-two 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 @ 11:09 PM 


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