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 +

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to make a Superhero.

Not infrequently, we make Superheroes, in our household. They are usually made out of Tiarnan and Fintan.

Yesterday, Tiarnan, four, came to me with a pumpkin costume partially on: it was open at the back. He turned his back towards me and waited. I duly took the costume off him, as I thought he required, since I had seen him wearing it earlier.

He turned around, then, and looked up at me, very patiently and said: "Dad: I want to wear it." He wasn't annoyed. He was, however, trying to explain what he wanted very carefully to me.

So, I put the costume on him. There: one fat pumpkin.

"I am VERY strong in this.", he declared to me, confidently, his little body already swelling with this phantom strength.

Then he rushed off.

I found myself smiling in his wake, looking at where he had been and thinking of the empowered expression he had had on his face, as he had spoken of his new found strength. He actually felt that strength it seemed.

In another room, in the house, I soon heard the sounds of play fighting. I call it play fighting, because they don't really hit each other properly...they hold back. Or at least Fintan does. (He is six and very strong - and knows it.)

I walked quietly to a vantage from which I could see them, at play.

Tiarnan was in his own world, possessed by the character of this "Pumpkin man". He was swinging his arms wildly and, each time they struck Fintan, they seemed to have great impact, for Fintan was knocked all over the place by them.

"I am SO strong!", called out little Tiarnan, who, if the truth be known, was too small to be strong, at all.

Tiarnan knocked Fintan to the floor. This is a bit like you, or I, knocking Mike Tyson to the floor: not likely.

Fintan looked up at me then, some five metres away, and gave me a conspiratorial wink.

No wonder Tiarnan thought he was so strong in that costume. Fintan was duly playing along, to make it seem so.

How sweet of Fintan, to care so much about his little brother, that he confirmed his imaginative world for him, entered it, and became what Tiarnan needed to complete his inner vision.

Fintan is like that. He typically understands others and knows just how to make them happy, therefore. In that moment, he was making Tiarnan happy - and, I thought, quite enjoying the charade that was required.

I left them to it.

So, you see, in our household, we regularly make Superheroes...very small ones, but no less potent for that.

Anyway, be careful when you see "Pumpkin man". He may be small, but he is VERY strong, indeed.

(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

Our editing, proofreading and copywriting company, Genghis Can, is at

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited. Use only with permission. Thank you.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:01 AM 


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