While the world has big plans for a brilliant whizkid in Texas, he has other plans for the time being.
It was clear from early on that Jaxon Cota of McKinney, Texas wasn’t your average child.
At age two, he astounded his parents by reading numbers up to 15-digits long. His father Matthew Cota tells NBC that Jaxon’s knack for numbers has always come naturally.
“There’s a rhythm to numbers And just something about that is, in a weird way, very simple for him”– Matthew Cota
When doctors diagnosed Jaxon with partial hearing loss at age 8, his Lori mother didn’t see it as a disability, but rather a gift that actually heightened his focus and creativity.
It certainly didn’t limit his achievements. At nine years old, Cota was admitted into MENSA, an elite organization whose members make up the top 2% of the world in intelligence. He’s also one of only 2,600 members under 18.
11 year old Cota recently placed 7th overall among 45,000 participants in MathCON, a national math competition with participants up to 17 years of age.
He has even enjoyed some celebrity as a contestant on A&E’s television series “Child Genius.”
For Jaxon, numbers are a source of endless enjoyment.
“There are just so many things about numbers that are fascinating and so many things to learn”– Jaxon Cota
A normal childhood
Yet for all of his other-wordly gifts, the top priority for Jaxon and his parents is having a normal childhood.
For that, there’s only one place Jaxon wants to be.
“Being at the baseball diamond makes me happiest,” he says “Baseball is just one of my passions.”
Not only does baseball fuel Jaxon’s love for strategic thinking, but it’s also a place where he can develop friendships and social skills that are part of being a regular kid.
Jaxon says he wouldn’t swap those experiences for anything, even his love of numbers.
“Graduating college at age 11 is not something I want to do ’cause I want to be able to do things I love like play baseball or hang out with my friends and just be a kid”– Jaxon Cota
You’re only a kid once
Jaxon’s father agrees and adds that a normal, healthy childhood will only contribute to a brighter future.
“We want him to be able to have an impact on people. In order to do that, we believe that he needs to interact with people”– Matthew Cota
There’s little doubt that Jaxon will have limitless opportunities to make a difference. However, being a kid is an experience that goes in the blink of an eye, and can’t be recaptured.
As parents, we’re so eager to drive our children to succeed, especially when blessed with wunderkinds like Jaxon.
Let’s just remember that raising our kids as kids should be a top priority, for their present and future success.
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