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 +

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to identify a person with your eyes closed.

Ainan is a boy of many peculiar talents. He can do things which, at times, seem uncanny. A few weeks ago, he gave me insight into one of these quirks.

I had just walked into the kitchen with an empty cup in my hand.

“I knew it was you, Daddy.” He began, as if an expectation had been fulfilled.

My eyes queried him in silence.

“You see I always know who it is, if they are carrying a cup – because both you and mummy move in a different way, and so the cup clinks differently.”

I was not surprised, not because this was not surprising but because I was used to being surprised by him. Thus, I was unsurprised to be surprised, by this latest revelation.

If there is one thing that sets Ainan apart from others, besides his intelligence, it is his perception: he is so acute in his observational ability that it is, at times, a bit like living with Sherlock Holmes. He does things with his senses that one might only expect to find in Marvel comic fiction. Yet, he does it so naturally, so casually, and so effortlessly. This, of course, only emphasizes the uniqueness of his perceptions.

I walked across the kitchen and set my cup down carefully by the sink, with a new appreciation of just how much my cup was telling about me – at least to Ainan, anyway.

Posted by Valentine Cawley

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:20 PM 


Blogger Makbed said...

wow, it's like having a super hero in the house. he's awesome.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Alia said...

it kinda funny you see it as a special ability while for me it isnt.

u see, i do that a lot n i dun find it really special.i think everybody does that.

u didnt do that?

i think this blog will be a sentimental value for ur sons someday. well done :)

3:07 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes, indeed it is - much more so than I have written of, actually. His perception is astonishing at times.

Thanks for your comment.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

No, Alia, I didn't do that - and don't do that. I am more aware of Ainan's perceptual sensitivity than you are. This story is one attempt to show that. There is much more to it than this.

I very much doubt whether you could tell the difference between my wife and I, with your eyes closed, just by the carrying of a cup. You think you could, but I doubt that you could. I couldn't for sure.

Yes. I think this blog will be seen as special by them one day. It is already by me.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Lemni said...

I'm not sure what you mean by "carrying a cup." What is the cup clinking against to make the distinctive sound?

So I'm not sure if this is similar or not, but I remember as a kid being able to discern who was walking down the hall by footfalls (out of four possible family members). Definitely came in handy for quickly hiding presents and surprises. :)

12:09 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Hi Lemni,

Well that is just the thing. He had very little to go on, in terms of sensory opportunities. The cup was being carried freely in my right hand, at the time. The only sounds would have been made by my knuckles and fingernails against the cup. Those were the "clinks" that he had the chance to analyse. So, he really had to be being close attention to his environment to pick up on such small cues.

I think the footfall method you speak of is related, though, of course, you would have louder cues and more information to go on. He is paying attention to a subtler signature than that.

However, I must say that your attentiveness to the sounds of walking is pretty Holmes-like, too!

Thank you for your comment.

2:31 AM  

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