HOW can you measure a mother's tolerance? When does a mother say "enough" and mean it in every way?

If you are one who is abreast with current events you are probably already aware of the capture of Jason Ivler, known as the road rage gunman who allegedly shot the son of Palace Undersecretary Renato Ebarle Sr. in November of last year.

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Two months after Ivler became a fugitive, he was found at a stock room in his mother's house in Quezon City. Now his mom has been charged of obstruction of justice, for coddling a fugitive. Frankly, I do not think she even cares about the charges. Her son is in the ICU of a hospital after gunshot wounds that could have ended his life, when he opened fire on the authorities who intended to arrest him.

I feel so sad for Ivler's mom. Sure, many would be quick to judge her and say she shouldn't have tolerated her son from the very beginning. That is very easy to say, especially if you are not in the same situation. Often we just give our opinions and tend to be quick to judge others, without even having a clear grasp of what happened, without really putting ourselves in the place of the person concerned. It is easy to start your sympathetic statement with "I understand what you are going through..." or "I know what you're going through...", but do we really mean it? There are some things you will not really be able to comprehend, or even approximate, unless you are in the same situation.

Mothers (ok, even dads, lest I get some hate mails, but I'd stick to mothers for purposes of our chat since I am discussing Ivler's mom's situation here) would definitely always want the best for their kids and would want to raise their children in the best way possible. But what exactly is the best way? There is no foolproof formula, and although you see thousands and thousands of books and articles out there on raising kids and dealing with kid problems, it is very difficult to find the best way.

I deal with that dilemma every single day. My three daughters are all smart, assertive and headstrong, I tell you, and there are times I feel I am wrapped around their little fingers because they can get oh-so adorable and persistent. Sometimes in dealing with them and their minute problems I would stop and question myself if I am doing the right thing. You just cannot put kids in categories and deal with them the same way because they differ - in attitudes, in moods, in the way they deal with situations. As a mother you are thus expected to adapt and adjust if you want to fully appreciate and understand your children - individually - and treat them in accordance with their special wants and needs. And that tends to be very difficult, you will probably lose your mind if you do not stop and laugh it off every once in a while.

I cannot imagine what must be going on inside Marlene Aguilar's mind, much less what's in her heart right now. On the other hand, it is also unthinkable to lose your child the way Mrs. Ebarle lost hers - or in any other way for that matter. The agony and pain in either case is inconceivable. I hope and say a prayer we can all be spared from having to find out for ourselves. (serendipity.couch@gmail.com)

"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."