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Go Ask Mom

Sloane Heffernan: A lesson in life's heartaches

Posted September 23, 2013

I recently decided to let my two older kids give acting a try.

Why didn't it occur to me when I brought my young sons to audition for a commercial that maybe, just maybe, one of them would not make it and the other would get the job?

How did that scenerio not cross my mind??

Well, that's exactly what happened this week. My six-year-old son was named a finalist, but my eight-year-old son did not make the cut.

I shared the exciting news with my younger son first, while we were alone. Next was the hard part. How do I break the news to my older son?

I did the best I could. I told him that he did not get the job, but that his younger brother was still in the running. I told him that it was OK to feel hurt and disappointed, but we should be happy for his brother.

I could see the tears in his eyes. My heart ached. How did I not see this coming? What a rookie mistake that I had made.

Then it dawned on me: Life is full of heartaches. And while I wish I could protect him from all of the pain and hurt, I think that would be a huge disservice.

I let him cry and held him tight. I shared stories about the stack of rejection letters that I received over the years while searching for jobs in the television industry. I ended up working at one of the best stations in the United States and I won an EMMY to boot! There was also the time that I didn't make my high school cheerleading squad. I was devastated, but I later went on to cheer in the NFL.

Something better always comes along. And the heartache makes it that much sweeter when it does.

When we knelt down to pray that night, my son asked to say a special prayer. He prayed that his younger brother would do well if he landed the job. In the end, he was the one who taught me a lesson in how to truly rise above the heartache.

Sloane is a reporter and anchor for WRAL-TV and the mom of three. She writes monthly for Go Ask Mom.



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  • samr Sep 26, 2013

    Wow. WRAL now removes posts that are critical of it's columnists. What a joke.

  • snowl Sep 24, 2013

    There is an episode of the old TV show "Full House" that is about this same topic. DJ Tanner goes to an audition for a commercial and her little sister ends up getting the part by accident. As always, that show deals very well with these life issues and perhaps you may have seen it?

  • Huey Sep 24, 2013

    You are a super mom!

  • Chris_H Sep 24, 2013

    Unfortunately our children have to learn this at some point. Also us Mom's have to realize we can't fix everything. I know it is hard but your son sounds like he is one special soul with his prayer. As I tell my kids things do get better :-).

  • mlt0923 Sep 24, 2013

    Bless your heart! I can only imagine... However, I will say that some of the most important lessons I have learned in life, I learned at some very tender ages. One of those lessons that is so valuable to me is the inclusion of others. I went through so much heartache of no invites to parties or sleepovers, or not being included at the lunchtable, etc. As an adult, those things now seem petty, but to me, the lessons learned from them are invaluable. Not to boast by any means, but I always catch myself realizing that I try to go above and beyond to always include others in various activities. I remember how much it hurt to not be included, so I try my best to prevent someone from feeling that way because of something I did or didn't do. Heartache is oh so tough, especially at very tender ages, but I believe it helps make us more beautiful people. I'm sure you're a great mom, and it's all going to be ok.