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 +

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Simplicity, Beauty and Fatherhood

Today, I shared an unexpected moment with my toddler son, Tiarnan, 23 months.

I was watching Terminator 3, on the television, when he wandered into the room. It was nearing the end of the film. The combat between the "baddie" and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator was in progress. He looked at this with some amazement. He didn't say what he thought, but something he did spoke most clearly of his feelings. His little right hand reached out to me and curled about two of my fingers (of course his hand is not big enough to curl about my entire hand). He has never done this before, in quite that way.

He stood there, eyes wide, taking in what must have seemed miraculous: a "man" who was a machine, protecting two humans. From his expression it was clear that he found it astonishing.

As Schwarzenegger's Terminator sacrificed its "life" for the humans his hand tightened on my fingers. There was a tension in him, as he witnessed this noble act.

Then it was soon over.

He didn't say anything, but he let go of my hand, the need for that companionate presence having passed.

There was a sweetness to the moment that perhaps I have failed to convey. His silent presence, hand on mine, as he watched what must have seemed a little scarey touched me. It was his way of saying: "with Daddy here, I can watch this without fear". When the moment had passed, on TV, there was no need for contact anymore, no need for protection and he quietly released my hand.

I felt, then, what a comfort I am to him. There was no need for words, or outward assurance: just my touch was enough to reassure him.

As for me, I felt what it means to be "Daddy". What a good feeling it is.

(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 @ 1:01 AM 


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