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, September 16, 2010

How long is my blog?

For almost four years, I have been writing this blog. In fact, it will be four years in three days. At the time, of writing, it did not seem so effortful, nor so copious as it is. Yet, today, out of curiosity, I decided to count the words on ONE blog post and its comments. I chose the first post: "First Words of a Child Prodigy". It is a fairly average length post of 541 words, including its date. Yet, if the comments below are counted, at least half of which were written by me (there are 57 of them), the word count is rather more. Please guess what you think it is, for this single post.

Well, the grand total of words resulting, so far, from that single post is 13,646 words. That gave me pause. That is about one fifth of the length of the typical book. Somehow, in between the rest of my life, and work, and raising a family, I have managed to put together 13,646 words on a single post - and write about 1,400 OTHER posts, each with its own comments section and abundance of words therein.

This simple exercise has prompted me to understand that my blog is rather a large piece of writing. Indeed, I have no doubt that it runs into millions of words, since it would only take about 700 words per post, to take it to the million mark - and I am sure that the average post and comments section is much longer than that.

Then again, that prompts me to reflect that, not only have I written these million(s?) of words, over the past four years - but many people around the world, have read them, too. For comparison's sake, let us convert each million words into book length equivalents. A typical book of fiction on the shop shelves is about 75,000 words or thereabout. Thus a million words is about the length of 13 and one third novels. That is quite some means that people who have stayed with my blog all these years, have read the equivalent of dozens of novels, of my written words (and those of my commenters).

That moves me to ask: is this the best way to spend my writing time? I could, instead, have written dozens of novels, I suppose, instead of one extensive blog. Yet, I have an answer for that. Novels would embody worlds that never were and never could be, in all probability - but this blog embodies one world that is, and one world that I feel I should record, lest it pass, without record and be lost forever, when I pass on and those I write of, are gone, too.

Thus, though my writing time could be spent writing other things, I feel, from my own way of looking at the world, that this is one of the most valuable ways I can spend at least some of my writing time. This is, I believe, a project worth directing a portion of my attention to. It is to create a structure of my understanding of what I have lived, what I have seen, known and come to appreciate, in founding this one particular family and in raising my own particular children.

Amongst the particularities of my observations, there will be universals, too, that speak for all fathers, for all mothers, for all families, everywhere. I do not know which you might find more valuable: the particularities of my own family or the universals of all that I chance to speak of. Let me know your own thoughts: which is of greater value - the particularities of thought, feeling and experience - or the universals of the same. Comments on this dichotomy would be appreciated, below.

As I consider all the words I have written, and all the words you all have read, thereby, I am left to wonder at their effect. What impact have these millions of words had on you, if any? What have they changed for you? What have you understood by them? In what way are you, or is your view of life, different, thereby? I know I am different. I understand more of what I have lived, by having had to reflect upon it, for these untold pages. So, for me, at least, it has been enlightening in a way. The question is: has it been enlightening in any way, for any of you? Please let me know, below. Thank you.

(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.

You can get my blog on your Kindle, for easy reading, wherever you are, by going to:

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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 @ 6:19 PM 


Blogger Ishy said...

Enlightening? Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
My son's not "normal" by any means. He's not as remarkable as your children, but he is gifted.
Without stumbling upon your blog I would be treating him differently than I am now.
I would more than likely have ignored his speech that started at 3.5 months, and I would deny that he can name animals and their sounds at 9 months.

Your blog and many posts have been my guide for parenting since I found it about 4-5 months ago and it will continue to be a guide on where to find resources and what to do about my son's differences.

It also helps me to cope with being a parent of an advanced child. I often re read posts about your children while thinking "I'm not alone ..."
Every time someone calls me crazy or a liar when they hear about Milo, I'm able to let it go, because I know it's true.

Without your blog, none of this would be true. :)

10:18 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you, Ishy, for your expressive comment. It is heartening to hear of how my blog has affected you, positively. If the only thing it achieves is to open parents' mind about their children's capabilities, then it would have achieved enough.

Yes. It is very helpful to know that you are not alone, not "mad", not deluded in being witness to the intellectual growth of your children.

Your thoughts on my blog are very helpful to me, in understanding what people value about it. Could you do me the great favour of sharing your thoughts, on my Kindle blog listing with a review? That would really help to spread the word about my writing, which would in turn allow others to be helped in the way you have been and are being. All you have to do is go to and search for me - and you will find my blog listing. Then sign in (or sign up/sign in) and write your thoughts on what my blog is for you.

Thanks so much for letting me know what my writing means for you, Ishy. I look forward to your future comments.

Kind regards

11:00 AM  
Blogger tearsunderstars said...

Hi there,

I've chanced upon your blog in December last year. I've enjoyed reading your blog, because it reflects your perspective of different issues. I live a relatively sheltered life, so I was pretty naive. Your blog has sort of provoked me to probe deeper rather than just accept my surrounding circumstances.


6:17 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Firstly, Tearsunderstars, I would like to say that I love the name you have chosen for yourself: beautiful.

Thank you for letting me know that you enjoy my blog. If it provokes you to consider your world more deeply, then I have succeeded in one of my multiple aims. I am glad that that is so.

Thanks for your positive feedback...happy reading, in future!

7:01 PM  

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