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 +

Sunday, January 09, 2011

How to grow up fast.

Little children seem to grow up fast, from their parents’ point of view. Yet, as most of us remember, that growing up doesn’t seem half fast enough when you are a little kid. Tiarnan, today, came up with a solution to the problem.

My four year old son, Tiarnan was talking to his elder brother, Fintan, seven. They were in the kitchen, near the refrigerator, which, perhaps unseen by me, Fintan had probably recently opened. For those who haven’t read long enough to know, Fintan is the big eater of the three sons. He is also the biggest and strongest for his age.

“I want to be you.”, said Tiarnan, to Fintan, as he looked up at his much taller brother.

“Then,”, Fintan began, considering the proposition, “You have to go to my school.” From the way he said it, he seemed to think that would put him off.

Tiarnan was undeterred. “Let’s change places.”, he continued, focusing more intently on his new idea, “You become me, and I become you.”

I interrupted him, then. “Why do you want to be Fintan? Is it because you want to be bigger?”

“Yes.”, he said, simply.

Then the two of them raced off, continuing some imaginary game or other.

To my mind, this encapsulated Tiarnan’s outlook so well. Tiarnan is ever imagining himself as superheroes, who are physically powerful – yet he himself is small. So, something in him wants that power and strength for himself. He sees that Fintan has some of that: he is stocky and well built for his age and quite tall – so, for Tiarnan, a very big step towards his goal of physical power would be simply to become Fintan.

Then there is the more conventional side to Tiarnan’s aspiration: he simply wants to grow up and have the requisite attributes and skills (and size and strength) of an older person. He wants to zip through his childhood and get to a mature stage overnight. This is, of course, a common wish in many children. However, of our three sons, the wish is strongest in Tiarnan, perhaps because he is the youngest and smallest.

What Tiarnan doesn’t appreciate is how we see him. He is most endearing just the way he is, growing up the way he is and changing day by day, the way he is. I, personally, would not see him fast forward through any of it. Simply seeing him change gradually, over time, is a delightful experience. Were there ever a technology that allowed children to become “adult” in form, in a much shorter time frame, I, for one, would not avail myself of it, for my children. Childhood is short enough as it is, without throwing it away entirely.

That being said, the adult like quality of Ainan’s mind is also something I would not change. That brings its own pleasures. However, I am pleased that Ainan’s mental advancement, does not also mean a shorter physical childhood. It is good to see him grow, in the normal way, at an expected rate. It is, in fact, a good reminder, that he is a child, still, however bright he might be – and such a reminder is good to have, lest he be misunderstood.

Tiarnan will just have to be patient, as all children must learn to be – and wait for his own access of strength, size and power to come at the biologically appointed time. As he waits, he can, of course, imagine his own superhero status, all he likes. That, of course, is fun, in itself, to watch – but that is another story.

(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.

There is a review of my blog, on the respected The Kindle Report here:

Please have a read, if you would like a critic's view of this blog. Thanks.

You can get my blog on your Kindle, for easy reading, wherever you are, by going to:

Please let all your fellow Kindlers know about my blog availability - and if you know my blog well enough, please be so kind as to write a thoughtful review of what you like about it. Thanks.

My Internet Movie Database listing is at:

Ainan's IMDB listing is at

Syahidah's IMDB listing is at

Our editing, proofreading and copywriting company, Genghis Can, is at

This blog is copyright Valentine Cawley. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited. Use only with permission. Thank you.)

Labels: , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:55 AM 


Post a Comment

<< Home

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape