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It’s carnival time

Lynn Tayler

Mother Seton School

(5/2016) From November to April, my neighbors and I are like hibernating bears, tucked inside our warm homes, at most sparing a wave as we run from the house to the car in the frigid air or helping each other dig out from under the occasional snow. But once the clock springs forward and the heavy coats are packed away, we emerge into the sunlight. The kids ride around on their scooters and bikes, and put to use all that sidewalk chalk they received in their Easter baskets. The swings get put back up, and in place of howling wind, the sound of squeaky chains swaying back and forth reverberates through the house. "Ah, the sound of Spring," my husband remarked, as he rummaged around for the WD-40.

With longer days and warmer temps, we take more walks and sit outside to read. (When we’re not hustling to one of half a dozen sports practices.) This is when we catch up with neighbors. We regroup as a community, as our children all bounce from one yard to the next, and share in Goodwill or landfill runs as spring cleaning commences.

At Mother Seton School, it’s much the same. This is also a time of regrouping and renewing old acquaintances. While high schools and universities typically have homecomings for their alumni in the fall, we have our version in the spring with the annual MSS Carnival. Old friends catch up in the Bingo tent, families come out to enjoy the rides and games (and cotton candy!), and our cherished alum pay a visit to their old school.

For 34 years, the carnival has been an integral part of our community, bringing together not only our newest families but those who help carry on our legacy. Without the support of our alumni and their families, the carnival couldn’t be as successful as it is. It also wouldn’t be one of the cornerstones of our community. Terry Smith, our school secretary, has been a part of the carnival committee for over 20 years. Her children are MSS alumni, including daughter Donna Schisler, who is currently one of our Kindergarten teachers. "The carnival always draws in a crowd from all over. We have several alumni and families who visit, from recently graduated students to parents of children who graduated decades ago," she told me. "The community spirit surrounding this event is such a blessing."

The other great thing about the carnival is how it allows our school to visibly demonstrate our part in this community. We’re like the neighbor you say hello to in passing most of the winter, but come spring, we’re outside sharing a lemonade with you. (Or in this case, funnel cake?) If you are a regular visitor to the carnival, you may have come to know many of our steady volunteers, if not by name then at least by face. This year, when you come, why not stop and say hello? The carnival may be an opportunity for our old friends to get reacquainted, but it can also be a time to spark a new friendship, to meet your neighbors and become a part of something bigger than just yourself. And isn’t that really what community is about?

Hope to see you on the Ferris Wheel May 23- May 28 at the MSS Carnival!

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