Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life Lessons From Paula Deen

Five years ago, my tiny daughter made a discovery with her dad: Paula Deen on the Food Network. She instantly fell in love with her food and Southern charm, and a strong resemblance to her grandmother didn't hurt, either. Hence, a longtime love of the "Grandma Cooking Show" was born.

Now, my third-grader learned this week that Grandma has been knocked off her pedestal, and the days of snuggling on the couch to watch her show are over.At nearly 8, 

At nearly 8, my daughter is in that tenuous middle ground where you want to fiercely protect her from the world but realize at some point you need to let her know what's going on. And the Paula Deen fiasco was one that made a difference. 

For the first time, we talked with our daughter - who thankfully knows nothing about the color of the skin other than it's like the color of your eyes or hair - about racism. How people in 2013 do sometimes treat others different based on how they look. How words can destroy. And how your choices can affect you for years to come.

It was a far cry from the talk we had with our 5 year old - how Paula Deen was in trouble for calling others a bad word. But it was effective for his stage in life, his personal challenges as he too grows.

On Wednesday, after breakfast, I let my daughter watch the end of the interview with Matt Lauer. Was she sorry? Absolutely, I believe. But still, it's hard to undo what's been done. And words are tough to take back.

I know my daughter has learned a lot from Paula Deen over the years around her stove. Now I hope she can learn from her recent life lessons - and the importance of repentance and forgiveness as well.

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