One Person Who Has Had a Strong Influence On Me {Lillie’s Response to her exam question}

This is another exam question from this morning’s mock exam.  I needed to hear this more than I care to admit.  Exams loom.  And though it is my children who are taking them, there is a certain amount of pressure on me that they do well.  Ultimately, exams are what society uses to measure a person’s success (or in deed the success of their mother who has home schooled them their entire life).  I am a little worried I will have fallen short in some way; that I haven’t taught them as well as their schooled friends have been taught.  It is scary.  All of the last fourteen years of learning culminate in these exams.

Lil’s response to this question, which asked her to write a speech describing a person who has been influential in her life, brought tears… and then smiles through the tears.  I was surprised by how much I needed to hear this, and how much I needed reminding that home schooling isn’t only about education.  No.  It is about something so much greater, and eminently further reaching than simple book learning.  At its core, it is about relationship… and love.  It is about acceptance… and love.  It is about friendship… and love  It is about much joy and…much love.  Yes, of course there is learning, but that is a by-product of the love.  Love which makes us home schooled mum’s get out of bed each morning full of the joys of homeschool, even when it is hard, even when it is, dare I say it, joyless.  Love is what makes us work so hard on behalf of our children’s education.  No one could want more for their child than a parent.  And it is that same love which helps us find the answers to their inevitable struggles, be they educational struggles, social struggles or just struggles due to living in this world at this time in history.  We have the honour and privilege to walk along side them, mentoring them and showing them that no matter the problem or struggle we will always be their soft place to land.  Thank you, Lillie, for reminding me why we homeschooled in the first place, and for helping the journey be such a wonder-filled one.  I love you so much sweetheart <3

There are so many people who have influenced me but none have done it as well as my Mum.  She is my hero and my life support.  She has pushed me to limits I didn’t know existed and most of all she has loved me.  Even when I hit rock bottom, she was there.

My mum has five children, three of whom are struggling to climb the mountain known as the teen years, and she homeschools all of us.  Yes, there are days where everything goes to pot and we end up just being grumpy, but does mum give up?  No.  She sees when I need space, when I need a hug or when I just need to chat.  The way she acts influences me in unimaginable ways.

She always has my best interests at heart.  I don’t do well with exam stress so she lets me take BTECs.  I don’t do well on little sleep so she makes sure I get my required amount.  Her whole life is spent on me and my siblings.  She is so unselfish and understanding.  Her love for me is surpassed by none.  She is so gentle and kind.  She is everything a woman should be.

Almost five years ago she found out she had cancer.  Mum didn’t let that stop her.  She was in the middle of a battlefield and her main concern was not for the danger she herself was in, but for her family who were watching the battle from the safety of the sidelines.  It was one of the worse years of her life and yet she made it all about her family.  She held her ground and wouldn’t let anything take her away from us.  Mum was, at that time, the weakest, yet she stood the strongest.

My mum is wonder-woman.  She wonders where her keys are…She wonders where her money has gone….  Only joking!  She IS actually Wonder Woman: the woman I look up to; the woman who never lets insults or unkind words upset her; the woman who, although an introvert, will still face that and not let it faze her; the woman I will always be proud to call my mother; the woman who first showed me what love is and the woman who has always stood by me.

I don’t think I tell her enough how much I love and appreciate her.  She has changed me and influenced me in ways no-one will ever understand.  And I love her.  I love her more than anyone else.  And this speech is for her because no-one has influenced me like she has.  I love you, Mum!


  1. First I have to say WOW! I never realized how much the two of you look alike! That’s amazing. Second, what a truly wonderful speech. I think all of us hope to one day hear similar words. I completely understand what you’re saying on the anxiety about the exams, Claire. Now that we are in the high school years too I am feeling it myself. It’s a hard balance to remember why we’re doing what we’re doing and not let the everyone else’s pull us into the fray. You are doing a great job keeping your center. Wishing y’all a wonderfully restful, blessed weekend. Take care!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.