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

Save our vegetables.

Tiarnan is a quirky little boy, for a four year old. He sees the world very much from his own perspective and, sometimes, this leads him to do and say things which are sometimes surprising, often endearing, for there is, often, an essential sweetness to his thoughts.

Today, over dinner, Tiarnan was taking rather a long time to eat his vegetables. He studied them carefully, then picked up a peapod. Oddly, he peeled open the pod, attentively, and took out the peas, one by one, and placed them to one side. They were rather small, round peas, the pods not being the large ones I had been accustomed to, in the UK, as a child. He carried on doing this, until all the peas had been extracted, then he took a bite out of the empty pod shell, then another and another, until it was all gone.

“Why aren’t you eating your peas?” I asked him, without a hint of the amusement, I felt.

“I am letting them escape.”, he replied, seriously, as if he had set free some revolutionaries, from prison.

It turned out, from further enquiry, that he thought the little round peas, to be some kind of baby vegetable, since they were much smaller than the ones he was used to. As baby vegetables, he just couldn’t bring himself to eat them – so he had decided to set them free. His sweetness of thought, made me smile, inwardly – but then, Tiarnan is often sweet in his thought. He has such an engaging way of looking at the world. I hope he retains this quality as he grows older, even if it is transformed, gradually by a better knowledge of the world.

Though Tiarnan didn’t notice, his mother ate the escaped “baby” vegetables later. Fortunately, he didn’t see all his patient work going to waste.

(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 @ 9:47 PM 


Blogger Straight Grandmother said...

Awe, that story melted my heart.

11:46 AM  

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