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, September 01, 2008

Fintan finds an identity.

Many people, whether they know it or not, are in search of themselves. By this, I mean they are in search of an identity: a means to describe themselves, to define their natures and perhaps to define their purposes.

Fintan, five, is well on the way to such a definition. A few days ago, he came into the room with his mouth all taped up. "emmmhhhuuuaaaatttt". He said, most unintelligibly. He was most intent. He looked up at me and tried to communicate a thought. "emmmmhhhhuuuaaattt.", he said, again. One further puzzled look from me was enough to make him give up. Then he stripped the sellotape from his mouth and went rushing after his elder brother, Ainan.

Ainan thought otherwise of Fintan's intent and promptly ran away. A farce ensued. Fintan ran after Ainan and Ainan ran away, both circling our bedroom, as fast as their feet would allow.

What struck me was the words Fintan chased Ainan with: "I'm an ARTIST!", he said, again and again, "I'm an ARTIST!", to justify his wish to tape up his brother.

I thought it a most splendid moment - an iconic one, even. For it showed that Fintan had a belief in what he sought to do, that was framed in artistic terms. He sought to use Ainan (involuntarily, though), in his self-imagined work of Art. Ainan was to become part of some statement that Fintan sought to make.

I let them run after each other for awhile, before Fintan realized that Abang Ainan wasn't going to co-operate.

Fintan, the artist, was left standing there, his sellotape art materials in one hand, an idea in his head and a distinct determination to become an artist, whether or not Abang (elder brother) Ainan wished to become involved.

If Fintan does become an artist - which, given that his mother is one, he might very well become - I will remember this moment as the first on which he concretely expressed that wish - whilst in the midst of creating a work of Art, with the intended participation of his brother.

I will now just have to wait to see what my Artist son does next. In the meantime, perhaps I should ask him what his work of Art meant to him.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:59 PM 


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