20 Cans of Tuna

can of tuna

Sometimes it is difficult to be my child.

Last Sunday I was working hard to be ready for our afternoon activities and for the first day of school which was Monday.  We had two covered dish dinner events – one for the girls’ mother/daughter charity club and one at church.

Lisa and DJ began participating in the National Charity League five years ago.  There are meetings, socials, and service projects, and mandatory expectations for participation.  When Lisa died, Aunt Sallie stepped up and filled the mother piece of the duo.  When Stephanie aged in, she joined too.

The kickoff picnic required a salad for the covered dish meal and canned goods to be donated to a local nonprofit.

Because I had to bring an entree to the church picnic that followed the NCL dinner, I decided to knock out a slew of ham biscuits.  I made about 50.

That morning I ran by the grocery store to purchase supplies to create my sowbelly delights and at the same time purchased 20 cans of food.  I was thoughtful enough to purchase tuna because the cans were small, easier for my delicate daughters to tote from car to picnic shelter.  I was on my A game.

At 4, I shipped DJ and Stephanie off to NCL and shortly thereafter made my way to church.  They showed up at 6 for their second dinner of the day.

As soon as Stephanie got out of the car, she ran up to me.

“Dad!  Guess what?”

“What baby?”

“Well, we walked up to the NCL picnic and went to put our Food Lion bags full of canned goods on the table with everyone elses’ stuff.”


“Everyone else was standing there with Target bags full of shampoo and toothbrushes.  Do you know why?”


“Because we weren’t supposed to bring canned goods!  We were supposed to bring toiletries.  Do you know how embarrassing it is to show up with TUNA when everyone else has Colgate??”

“What did you do?”

“DJ said to just put the bags down quickly and walk away.  It was humiliating!”

“Well I would imagine that if someone needs toiletries, they likely also need canned goods.”

“At our next meeting we are taking all of the stuff we brought and putting it in bags for the people in need.  I guess the bags will include toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, Q-tips and TUNA!”

She sort of grunted and walked away.

The beautiful thing about DJ is that she didn’t even bring it up to me.  She’s used to this sort of stuff.  No need to get bent out of shape.  With me as her father, it just is what it is.


Check the Tanners out in the September issue of Family Circle
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Leave a comment


  1. I’m sure there is some cosmetic use for tuna??? Maybe if it’s the kind packed in oil the oil could be drained off and used as a moisturizer??? I’m just kidding. I’m pretty sure someone from the group will set aside with other can goods to route it properly.

  2. Mom

     /  September 3, 2014

    That got a chuckle out of me! Next time they will probably ask for canned goods and you can take your toiletries. Then you will have all your bases covered. I can just see them opening a bag and getting tooth brushes, tooth paste, shampoo and tuna. I love it!

  3. Oh thank goodness! I was afraid I was the only parent that has pulled something like that!

  4. We sent our youngest to school as Robin Hood last Tuesday for “dress like a book character” day. Turns out the book character thing was Wednesday.

  5. Lol danny, that’s terrible! I can see myself pulling that same thing in the future–it’s probably unavoidable. Lol, nice work!

  6. Aunt Susan

     /  September 4, 2014

    I really thought, before I read it that this was a Costco rant! I like that you were thinking outside of the “bag”

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  8. Lol I guess you should indeed. I eagerly look forward to your next post! Can’t wait to see what you and the kids are up to! 🙂

  9. Anytime you put up a post like this The parent in me gets all gooey. I love that you love your daughters. Now “forget” to exclude the tuna next time 😁😁

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