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 +

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year 2010

I know this is a little late for Xmas, but it has been a busy time. Merry Xmas, all, for 2010 and a Happy New Year to come.

As I expect holds true for any of you who have children, our Xmas morning was marked by the very early waking of our excited sons. Fintan, in particular, said, touchingly: "I went to sleep as fast as possible, to wake up as soon as possible". He clearly wished to push a perceptual fast forward button on his pre-Xmas morning, night. Ainan, for his part, said: "I couldn't sleep!", so his sense of anticipation came out in other ways. Tiarnan was very excited, but didn't comment about his sleep.

Seeing them, so active, so early on Xmas morning, called to mind my own childhood, when I, too, along with my brothers and sister, would wake with early excitement, on Christmas morning - no doubt to the inconvenience of our parents. It was a multilayered experience, therefore, seeing them bouncing about. In a way, I was seeing my younger, inner self, again, through them. This time, however, I understood it in a different way: I understood how it must have been for my parents, seeing me, and my siblings, so excited on Xmas morning. Thus, the day had a greater sweetness, than it would have had, had I no such remembered experience to compare it with. The sense of an echo within, gave the passing moments a greater depth. They seemed, somehow, timeless - and I suppose they are, for ever since this tradition was first invented, of giving presents on Christmas day, children must have shared in the very same excitement that my children felt, this year and I had felt, myself, many years ago, when I was a similar age to them.

Though my children were and are unaware of it, they were participating in an age old tradition, that billions of children before them, have enjoyed throughout the ages. In a way, that gives Christmas morning a sense of importance, beyond anything that is directly perceptible or intelligible. Perhaps, when my children become parents themselves, they will sense, themselves, what I felt, this festive season. So, in turn, might their children feel the same, once adults - and so it goes on: a ripple of understanding and insight, passing through the generations, as each matures, in turn. Like much in life, of course, this is something which cannot and should not really be taught - it is something that must be lived, to be truly understood. Of course, when my children understand all this, I will understand something else: what it is for my parents, to be grandparents. That is something I look forward to. Strangely, it doesn't seem all that distant a prospect, perhaps because life doesn't seem as long as it used to, when I was younger. Now, it all seems a bit of a sprint to the finish line.

Anyway, they loved their gifts. Thanks, in particular, to the ones sent by my own mother and father, from the UK. The effort is appreciated and the kids were particularly taken by those gifts. Indeed, they are still playing with them, as I write.

Have a festive time, all.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 7 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.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:52 PM 


Blogger Transitioning said...

Hi Valetine,

Thanks for all the wonderful articles posted here - I thoroughly enjoyed them

I have also posted an article of yours "Are NTU/NUS graduates creative?" on my site -

Hope this is ok with you and keep up the good writing!


7:20 AM  

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