Monday, January 18, 2010

A mother's love

Images of the arrest of Jason Ivler haunt me. I was home all morning, fixing up things in the living room while tuned in to the news. It was Monday and I needed to rejoin the real world after a gratifying weekend. Then I learned that the NBI had finally arrested this fugitive, the killer of another young man in a case of road rage.

I don't like people with temper/anger management problems. I would rather not be associated with them in any way. This got me into thinking about Marlene Aguilar, Ivler's Filipino mother, who was also arrested for harboring her son and lying to authorities on his whereabouts. Why, she even made a public plea – in makeup and in tears -- for him to turn himself in!

This morning she had no make up whatsoever and it was clear she had woken up to a nightmare. She had been keeping her son all along in a secret room in her house in Blue Ridge, Quezon City.

Maybe she was scared of her son too and did not know how to manage him. She loved him that much? Would any mother have done the same? I can imagine how a mother would put herself on the line to protect her child, but when the child kills another human being just because he was having a bad day, would she still go as far?

Would I go as far?

I like to think I'm raising my kids so they would be responsible adults later on. Im basically doing it alone so while others may feel it is doubly hard, I say it's actually easier since I am unchallenged. I try to be a good example, to use reason instead of passion. I go from the very basic tenet that your own cubbyhole/ study table/ shoe cabinet/ closet is your own space so your things go only there and not anywhere else. If you lose something, or find your space upside down, blame yourself.

And when somebody gets on your nerves, you don't shout or throw things at him. You keep quiet, make yourself scarce, and wait until you're calm before you talk to that fellow and tell him why. I employ the same style when I get upset with them. I believe it's more effective, though not easy. I try hard.

And so I hope I won't ever have to have a dilemma remotely akin to what Marlene went through. In handcuffs herself, she can only look on as her son was dragged away by NBI agents, even as he howled in pain (he engaged authorities in a shooting match) and resistance.

Genetics aside, kids are largely how we raise them. And raising them well means loving them enough to help them help themselves. We do a great job when our kids do not ever feel the need to run to us for cover when they mess up instead of owning up to the consequences of their actions.

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