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 +

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ainan's special moment in history.

Yesterday, Ainan looked forward to a moment he identified as special.

"What if it were February 2nd, 2022, at 2.22 pm and 22 seconds?", he asked with a little smile, which seemed to say that he thought the idea more beautiful, than amusing.

"I hope you see that moment, should."

His eyes engulfed the future only he could see. The thought swirled around inside his head, warming him.

I understood why he wondered so, at that future moment. For Ainan, symmetry is beautiful, pattern is beautiful - especially in concepts, numbers and science. So, for him, an instant, that was basically all 2s seemed enticing. It had a numerical perfection about it that he could not resist.

"The question, Ainan, is when that moment comes, will you remember that, today, you looked forward to it?"

His eyes appraised me, enigmatically.

"Will you remember that today we spoke of it?"

He didn't answer me. Sometimes, he kept his thoughts to himself and I would, at such times, never pry or push, but just let him be.

Of course, the fact that I had asked whether he would remember, this moment, when he spoke of that moment, yet to come, would probably ensure that, when the time came, he would remember it. In asking, I would have created the memory I asked about.

I wonder, now, whether anyone else will see that moment as significant when it comes. Will anyone note its arrival? What will Ainan be, on that day? How will he be living his life? Will Ainan's special moment in history, be special to others, too? Will it be any more special because Ainan considers it so?

That day is eleven and a half years away. On Ainan's scale that is more than another lifetime. He cannot say what and who he will be, then - and neither can I. Nor can anyone say what the world will be like, either. Much may have changed, or much may be the same. I do not even know if I will be around on that day. A lot can happen in eleven and a half years.

I rather hope that Ainan does, indeed, remember this conversation and the moment he considered that future symmetrical time. Should he remember this day, that memory will connect for him, the adult he has become, with the child he once was. He will look inwards and see his younger self looking forwards to that moment, he has finally reached. He will feel the completeness of his life, its conjoint nature, with all moments, strung together as one. He will remember too, his Daddy, as I was, then - and his little siblings around the dinner table, as he had spoken, with his Mummy across from him. It will, I feel, be a flashbulb moment that will take him back to an instant of his childhood, an instant of wonder, at what was to come. He will hold then, in his mind, the wonder he felt then, with the knowledge he has, in his future, now. He will see the contrast of hope and remembrance.

I do not know if it will be good for him to remember that future looking moment, for I do not know what his attitude will be to the time he now lives. I know this, however: he is very likely to recall the day he wondered, "What if it were February 2nd, 2022 at 2.22 pm and 22 seconds?"

I hope that the life he lives then, is one he enjoys and finds fulfilment in. If it is so, then I shall have succeeded in my role as a father. After all, my role is to nurture in him, whatever is there, to become whatever he can be, in a way that leads to a positive life, that he finds rewarding. If I succeed in that, I shall be happy - whatever life it is, that he finally chooses.

Keep on looking forward Ainan - and one day you will arrive in the times that you now only imagine.

(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: 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.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 1:38 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting that you bring this up today, Valentine, as today is October 10th, 2010, making it 10/10/10. It isn't quite the same as February 22nd, 2022, at 2:22 pm and 22 seconds, as it is all, besides a few zeroes, twos. Perhaps it was on Ainan's mind because of today's special date.

Getting off topic, I would like to bring up a documentary I saw the other day. This documentary, titled What Makes a Genius, distinguishes the differences between someone with great talent and a genius. As I was watching, Ainan was on my mind. A genius has talent, but someone with talent is rarely a genius. I know Ainan has talent, and is a genius in my opinion, but I was wondering what you think. Do you think Ainan has great talent, or is he a genius? There is no doubt that he is highly intelligent.

I have also looked at the IMDB websites you have listed. I was wondering i you know of any website where I can see the two documentaries listed on Ainan. I sometimes have trouble with those "channel websites" because of location issues, so I was wondering if you knew of any others. No worries if you don't know of any.

I apologize for this long comment and for asking so much. :)

11:39 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Hi Alex...

Well, it is curious that I mention it today...but not because today may have prompted Ainan. I don't think, ironically, he pays that much attention to what day he is in NOW. He was just looking ahead, to another time, in which the numbers line up.

That sounds like an interesting documentary...but one fraught with definitional difficulties, I would imagine. Given what I have seen of Ainan since his birth, I would say that he is a genuine case of genius. I say that not as a parent, but as a rather careful observer of who he has been, is, and looks set to be.

However, even a genius needs a chance to express I hope to create for him the opportunities he needs to reveal what is inside him, in a productive way.

I believe that there are "torrent" sites that might have copies of the two documentaries for download. I have never used such sites myself, but others have, with some success. So, just google the name of the documentary and "torrent" or "download" and see what comes up. You should find something somewhere.

I have trouble with the channel websites too.

Re. Superhuman Genius: that was sold to 20 or more countries - so it has been seen all over the world. Are you not in one of those countries? It has been on the Science Channel in the USA, innumerable times.

Let me know if you manage to find a copy - and what you think of it. The documentaries are a glimpse of Ainan at a particular stage. He has moved on since then, of course.

6:50 AM  

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