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, February 10, 2011

Strange questions of a curious boy.

Perhaps the greatest pleasure a parent can have, is to watch their children surprise them. My three sons seem to have decided to specialize in this activity, as if born to it.

Many years ago, Ainan began asking strange questions. These strange questions grew into his own preoccupations and finally an absorbing interest in science. So, I have come to look out for strange questions as a herald of things to come. It is a sign that a young mind is beginning to consider the world.

The other day, Tiarnan, just turned five, asked his mother: “What does parallel mean?” Now, this is not a particularly strange question, but it is an unexpected one, in the sense that it is not the kind of topic one expects from a five year old.

His mother duly answered, showing him what parallel meant. He grasped the concept, at once and seemed quite content to learn something new. That, for him, was one less mystery in the world.

Of course, Tiarnan’s question creates another little question: where had he heard the word “parallel”, in the first place? I certainly hadn’t said it to him, nor his mother, Syahidah, either. Yet, somewhere he had noted the word, remembered it and thought to ask us about it later.

I see, already in Tiarnan, a liking for words. He has, on occasions, used surprising ones, since he was very young – words rather too long and rather too complicated for his age. It reminds me of what he said once: that he was going to be a writer of “story books” when he grows up. Perhaps he will, if not in this Universe, perhaps in a parallel one!

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:45 PM 


Blogger virginiagunawan said...

Hi Valentine. Even I'm excited to see how these boys grow! I can't imagine how is it for you and Syahidah!

Stories about your children always make me smile :) So I see he got the writing talent from you then!

Fortunately for them, you've been living many lives and you'd know how to lead them in any field they want.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thank you for your observation re. the origin of my son's writing talent (incipient one, that is).

Yes. It is true. It is very fortunate that I have "led many lives". My diversity of occupations and experiences means that I have many background experiences to offer in support of my sons. It also probably explains to a significant degree their diversity anyway.

I am happy to hear that you enjoy my tales of my children. I, by the way, enjoy writing them. I look forward to how my future adult sons might view the tales of their own childhoods.

Best wishes.

10:52 PM  

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