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, August 25, 2009

Teaching Daddy how to see.

Tiarnan often sees things I just don't notice. It is quite humbling, in a way, to simply take a walk in the world with my three year old son. Today, I did just that.

First, we stood at the bus stop eyeing a "G.I. Joe" poster together. The strong image of a gun toting soldier, with chaos all around drew Tiarnan's attention.

"There's a tank.", he said, pointing at a dimly drawn object in the background.

"Oh yes." So there was. I hadn't noticed. "It is a tank."

"What's that?", he asked, pointing at the letters G.I, before the Joe.

"Oh that means an American soldier."

"Daddy look!"

I looked but didn't see.

"A spider! A tiny spider!"

I followed the pointing of his finger and there, in its line of fire, was a tiny spider, hiding in one corner of the poster. It was about one third of an inch long, and much the same colour as the background on which it hid. Yet, Tiarnan had spotted it. I, of course, hadn't noticed.

"It is very small.", he observed, peering more closely at it.


Later, as we got off the bus, he suddenly yelped excitedly.

"Look!", he pointed.

There, hidden in the under brush, in the vegetation that grew beside the road, was a lizard. It was really quite a big lizard - but, you know what, had it not been for Tiarnan, I wouldn't have noticed. It was a green lizard, hiding in green grass, under green shrubbery. Almost no-one on this planet would have noticed...but Tiarnan did.

We watched the lizard together for a minute or two, Tiarnan fascinated by its every little action.

"It is a very big lizard, Daddy."

It was, too. Perhaps fifty or sixty centimetres long.

I was rather getting the feeling, by this time, that Tiarnan really saw a lot more in the world, than I did. He noticed things, I just didn't see at all...and he did it all the time.

On the way back from the bank, he did it one more time.

"Look Daddy, a shoe!"

I looked where he pointed and there, hidden in the long grass, beside the path, completely BURIED in the ground, apart from part of the black sole, peeking out, at the level of the ground, was a training shoe.

Again, I hadn't seen it and wouldn't have noticed it, were it not for my son.

Together we examined the strangeness of this shoe and wondered how it ended it up buried in the ground.

By the time I took Tiarnan home, today, I was both humbled and impressed. Humbled, that Tiarnan should see so much more in the world, than I did - and impressed, too, that he did so.

He may be young. He may be small...but he sure is observant.

Thank you, Tiarnan, for trying to teach Daddy how to see, today. It was an unexpected but, dare I say it, eye-opening lesson.

(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.

We are the founders of Genghis Can, a copywriting, editing and proofreading agency, that handles all kinds of work, including technical and scientific material. If you need such services, or know someone who does, please go to: Thanks.

IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals.If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at:

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. Use Only with Permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:17 PM 


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