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, October 07, 2010

A memory for old age.

Today, I saw something which I rather feel, I shall always remember. To some, it might seem like a little thing, but to me, it is an iconic image.

I was coming home, after having been out, about my day, when I noticed something on the gate, to our house. It is a wide, black gate, made of old, much put upon wood. At the touch of a switch, it parts to let cars or people alike, through. However, the surface of the gate has a patina of dust, clinging to it, partially because of the nature of the paint on it.

Now, there is nothing remarkable about dust on a gate, but to me, there was something remarkable on that gate. All over the surface, little fingers had traced pictures, in the dust. They were pictures of happy, smiling people, joyously at play. I imagined, as I saw them, Tiarnan's and Fintan's fingers, drawing in the dust, expressing what was in their hearts and minds. It is clear, there is much happiness there - but also a desire to express it. They had drawn spontaneously on what their world offered them: a dusty gate.

I wished, in that moment, for a camera, but we have none that is working today (we have lost the charger). I hope, therefore, that the rain, which began moments after I saw the images, doesn't wash them away. I would like a photo of that indelible memory, so that I can show others, what I saw that day and explain to them, what it means to me. On that gate, I saw my children's childhood laid out before me. It was a sweet one, filled with innocent happiness. It made me smile, so, to see what they had done. I knew, in that moment, that I would remember that gate and its traced happiness. I knew that that gate would be forever with me, because it captured the essence of my children, as they are now, at the beginning of their lives.

I only hope I can photograph it, before it is gone.

Thank you Tiarnan (four) and Fintan (seven) for showing me what is in your hearts. I am happy to see it so.

I will remember that drawing of theirs upon the gate: the question is - will they remember it too? Will it become a memory of their childhoods...or will it be lost, for ever, as just one more day, in this eternal summer we live, near the Equator?

I hope to ask them one day, and to remind them of their tracings on the gate, in its obliging dust.

(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 @ 8:41 PM 


Blogger mommycristina said...

Hi, this is the first time I have visited your blog. I just wanted to comment on how uplifting it is to see your care and pride in your children. I also love the quote on the sidebar, "However, my greatest achievement is to have fathered three sons."
Though I love all my 5 children as much, seeing others examples of love always encourages me to do more as well. Thanks for sharing the wealth.

9:17 PM  
Blogger tearsunderstars said...

Ah, how most things in the world are so transient. As much as you wish to engrave that memory forever in you mind well into old age, the unforgiving weather does not spare anything, and time never stops to wait for anyone.

There are joyous moments, mood-shattering moments, which eventually become distant memories. And we wish for something that we could hold on to, that would last, at least through our lives where everything is ever-changing.

As you have had moments of joy and pain with your family as a parent, I, too, shall keep searching for that something, and when I reflect upon my memories, I would once again revive the emotions I once had, and look back with a smile.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you Mommy Cristina for your warming words. It is heartening to read them.

Yes. I think my life is focussed on my children in a way that, perhaps, is not fashionable in the career mad modern world. But you know what? I manage to do the things I want, too...though perhaps at less a frenetic pace than otherwise.

As for your 5 children: I wish I had 5, too! I am glad to have inspired greater efforts on their behalf.

As for "sharing the wealth" - you are welcome.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes, Tearsunderstars, memories become more distant...but some things, I find, are ever present, never fading. These are the memories that one most wishes to hold onto - or ones that have most meaning. They tend to stay with one.

This blog is one big memory for me. In writing it, I ensure that much that would have been lost, is saved. So, it is a worthwhile exercise, just from that point of view.

What do you think you will remember most in old age?

8:25 AM  
Blogger tearsunderstars said...

Hi Mr Cawley,

I've tried keeping a diary many times, unfortunately my writing hardly captures the essence of what I wish to invoke, and words don't flow naturally for me, so I end up having "failed diaries" filled with incoherence. Even as I write this, I have to read it numerous times to make sure it sounds okay.

I really admire you, because you can express in words, what I couldn't express in any way before. I can actually feel your writing! The frustration, the happiness of your experiences you have recorded in your blog.

So, instead of keeping a diary, I have lots of random memorabalia in my drawer, which would remind me of the past.

As for my old does seem like a long time away! (Maybe it isn't as long as it seems) Though, I would definitely remember the lovely people who accepted the way I am, believed in me, gave me support, and stayed by my side no matter what happened. Sometimes, I even feel obliged to be successful in what I pursue to make them feel proud.


10:19 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Old age is not so far away, Tearsunderstars: it will come upon you very suddenly. Life speeds by I am afraid.

I am happy to hear that you appreciate my writing but what, exactly, do you mean when you say that you "feel my writing". Please explain.

Your own writing is better than you think. It might not match what you wish, but it will get better over the keep at it.

Best wishes.

3:17 PM  
Blogger tearsunderstars said...

Sorry, "feel your writing" is a phrase that I came up with. It means when you describe a scenario or a course of events, I can imagine it happening to me if I were you, and the emotions that come with it. In other words, you bring your point across so well.

Also, you expressed what I wanted to say but I just couldn't put it in words, especially when I was younger. That resulted me in being unable to question and challenge the "authorities", so instead I can only show it through my behaviour. I was then labelled as defiant and rebellious. In the end I gave in and conformed. But as I read your blog, I realise I should not betray the feelings I once had.

So, please keep writing, it's very inspirational to me, as I'm trying to rediscover myself (and my gifts) once again. Please disregard those idiots who can't really read and see your writing as insults or attacks.


8:21 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you for your kind words regarding my writing. It is good to hear.

Re. those who don't understand. Well, as you know, I had to block anonymous comments because of the attacks I was getting from all the world's idiots...and I am glad that I have done so, because it is much more civilized on this blog, now.

If those read, feel what I felt as I wrote and thought, then I have succeeded in my intention. Thank you for letting me know that I have.

1:20 PM  

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