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, October 12, 2010

The Fibonacci Boy

Ainan ushered me over to him, today. There was clearly something on his mind.

"Daddy, I have noticed something strange about my birthday."

My eyes attended to him, a little anticipation gleaming in them. Or, at least, I felt so - whether it showed in my eyes is another matter.

"If you write my birthday as is the beginning of the Fibonacci sequence!"

Sure enough, the Fibonacci sequence is sometimes written without the 0 at the beginning and is seen as 1,1,2,3...which spells out my son's date of birth. He was, as many of you will know, born on November, 23rd, 1999.

Now, some people, inclined to reading meaning into such things, might see Ainan's peculiarly apt date of birth, given his scientific interests and leanings, as somewhat prophetic. They might see it as a foretelling of what was to come.

I see it differently. I see it as poetic. It is a form of mathematical poem, that his date of birth, should so reflect his nature and connect him, to another great mind of the past - and great idea, too. There seems, to me, to be a kind of conceptual beauty in that.

Ainan, too, felt some wonder that his date of birth, should be the beginning of the Fibonacci sequence. It is also the beginning of his life and all that it shall embody. It is as if one scientific idea, has given rise to a creator of scientific ideas. Fibonacci's sequence has extended itself into a new sphere, and is now found in the birth of a scientific child prodigy. There is a natural humour in that. For Fibonacci numbers are found throughout nature. Now, they signify a scientific birth, too.

Thank you for letting me know, my Fibonacci son...for I doubt that I would have noticed it, myself. Now, that I know, its elegantly apt poetry echoes in me. I don't think that a better date of birth could have been chosen for a boy, such as Ainan. It is so elegant, in fact, that had I not known it to be true, I would have thought it a fiction, chosen by an author, to reflect the character he had created. It is a funny thought. His very date of birth, suggests the intervention of an author, in his creation, so suited is it, to the boy he is and is becoming.

This leads me to wonder whether, in the very distant future, whether Ainan might be thought, not of as a real person, who lived, but as a legendary figure, of whom they don't know whether he lived or not. This can easily happen with the passage of too much time and the poverty of records. Might future scholars not spot such oddities as his date of birth and use that as "evidence" that his life story was a fiction? There are so many oddities in his life and the lives of his parents that led up to him, that he might easily, one day, be thought of, as an unreal, mythical figure.

In a way, that is sad. For it would be to say, that those future people doubted whether he had ever lived. Though Ainan's life may be filled with interesting coincidences, oddities, and serendipities, it is very real. Yet, I do wonder, at how his wondrously strange life might one day be viewed, by people too far from us in time, to be sure that he ever truly was. Will he become, one day, just a story told and retold for its inherent fascination and symmetries? Will it be a story for children or adults? What will people think of the story?

Of course, I will never know. I can only wonder. For now, I can enjoy being a father to my Fibonacci son, and his not so numerical brothers (in terms of their dates of birth) and a husband to my wife, who has her own kind of uncanny figures. It seems I live in a most mathematical world!

Have a numerical day, all.

(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 @ 6:26 PM 


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