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 +

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The surreal dreams of a young boy.

Children are supposed to have imagination. Some children do, some children don't, some children just have TV (no imagination required). However, all children have dreams...and, of course, the more imaginative children show this characteristic when dreaming.

A couple of weeks ago, Tiarnan, four, had a dream. It struck me as a rather bizarre one. Can you imagine, for a moment, what Tiarnan might have dreamt? Try to imagine yourself into a four year old boy's world, and think what he might have dreamt.

Please think of every detail of your imagined dream that you can - one that would suit a four year old boy.

Perhaps you could write the dream you guessed he had, down below.

Well, Tiarnan spoke, rather excitedly, a couple of weeks ago, of his dream the night before. In it the Incredible Hulk had been belly dancing. That is right, a key feature of Tiarnan's dream was that the Hulk was doing a belly dance. Tiarnan thought it was very funny. Of course, he is unaware that dreams come from within him, I should think...he saw it as a very entertaining image of his nightly sleep.

Tiarnan's dream seems to be reflective of who he is: in his young mind, all sorts of unusual remarks take place. He seems to be able to connect the previously unconnected and see the previously unseen. It is a good quality and promises a creative future, in some way or other. I very much doubt whether anyone else has imagined the Incredible Hulk - the quintessential male - doing belly dancing - quintessentially female. Yet, Tiarnan saw fit to combine them, in his dream, for comic effect.

Of course, I have no idea why his dreaming mind thought it reasonable to make the Hulk do a belly dance - maybe it just thought it would be funny to watch.

What makes this dream image of Tiarnan's even more unlikely is that the only contexts in which he has seen the Hulk, are when he is fighting in a cartoon or in a computer game. He has never seen the Hulk as anything else...thus, it is quite a stretch, to suddenly imagine the Hulk as a graceful belly dancer! It seems his mind feels free to break from stereotypical categorizations, and try to see things in a new way. Perhaps, of course, it is just seeing potential comedy, in what it knows of the world. Whatever is the case, it is certainly a memorable image.

To some, this post might seem like a little thing - but, to me, it is not. It captures the essence of one of my youngest son's dreams. I have no such record of my own. So, I make this record so that, one day, Tiarnan might smile, perhaps in remembrance, at the dream he once had as a child, of a Marvel Superhero, doing a belly dance.

Happy dreaming, Tiarnan.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:08 AM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before reading on, I imagined that some kind of superhero had been part of his - very creative - dream. :-)

4:37 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

You know boys well, then!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems so. :) Maybe because I was a tomboy when I was younger, and - apart from one girlfriend - I only had male friends.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Ah, you had plenty of opportunity to observe them. That could come in handy, in life.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, I did have much time to do so, but during those years I didn't observe them a lot. I didn't pay attention to any differences between me and the boys.

8:53 AM  

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