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, March 10, 2010

Tiarnan's ambition.

A few days ago, I asked Tiarnan, my just turned four year old son:

"What do you want to do when you are a big boy, like Daddy?"

There wasn't even the slightest pause for consideration. This was something he knew the answer to, immediately, though it was the first time I had asked it, of him.

"Books, Daddy, I want to write them." His eyes seemed to gaze on the future to come, as if, for him, it were within ready reach.

"A writer?"

"A writer.", he confirmed.

I was somewhat surprised to hear a four year old say he was going to be a writer. Not many four year olds, I imagine, would choose such a path.

I revisited the question again, later, asking him: "What kind of books will you write?"

"Reading books.", he declared, by which, I think he means fiction...the kind that people like to read.

"I am going to read and read and read...and then write.", he said, as if mapping out a path, to his writing future.

I must say it is good to hear him choose a creative path and, in many ways, I am not surprised that he should do so - only surprised that he did so at four. You see, Tiarnan is the most verbal of my three sons: he talks more, at this age, and in the three years that preceded it, than any of his brothers. Not that alone, but he is also the most divergent of my sons. By this, I mean, he is the most likely to say something unlikely. However Fintan goes in for that kind of thing, too: the off the wall comment that comes from nowhere and is utterly inexplicable, yet, which, once said, has a wisdom or a wit all of its own. That kind of thing is quintessentially Tiarnan and quite a bit of Fintan. So, I think that Tiarnan would make an interesting writer for his work would, I predict, be filled with unexpected thoughts and surprising insights. I would invisage the kind of writing for him, that makes the reader sit up and think: how on Earth did he think of that?

As for now, he enjoys books - that much I had known. Yet, I had not known until I asked that question just quite how much books must mean to him.

I look forward to the day I get to read one of his books. I only hope I am around to get the chance to do so. It might be another thirty years or more before he puts together his first book and I would, therefore, be in my seventies, at least, before it happens. So, I can only hope that I have the pleasure of reading his work. If not, at least I got to hear his first announcement of this early ambition.

I hope it comes to fruition. Good luck Tiarnan. Keep thinking those apt but wacky thoughts.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:
Ainan's IMDB listing is at
Syahidah's IMDB listing is at

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:07 PM 


Anonymous Casandra Ramirez said...

Hello, Mr. Cawley

It's natural that he wants to write like his father has done, even though he wants to write fiction or "reading" books as he so adorably called them. He looks up to you and wants to be a good man. I'm looking forward to read his book. I'm sure he'll be very talented.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes, Casandra, you are right that many sons want to be like their fathers. However, in Tiarnan's case I don't think it is a case of modelling his dad. You see, Tiarnan is stubbornly himself - he is very much an individual, so I think this is a true choice that reflects his present wishes for his future. We will see whether he stays the path, or chooses another road, in time. Yet, I do think it likely that writing will be at least part of his life.

Thanks for your kind words.

10:26 AM  

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