Sunday is Mother’s Day, a more than century-old holiday celebrating the role and significance of mothers in society and in our own lives. The RoundTable asked people at the Umbrella Arts Festival in downtown Evanston on Saturday what the holiday means to them, and whether they have any special plans to celebrate.

Diane and Jesse Weinberg with their 1-year-old son, Rocco. Credit: Alex Harrison

Diane and Jesse Weinberg

Diane Weinberg, 34, said Mother’s Day has a new meaning for her after becoming a mother to 1-year-old Rocco.

“I’ve always wanted to be a mom, and it’s very new for me, being the one who’s being celebrated,” she said. “For me, it’s always meant a day of extra appreciation for, usually, the people who do everything for us in our whole lives.”

The couple is hosting a family brunch tomorrow to celebrate, although Jesse Weinberg, 45, added they’ll try to make it a neat, “leave no trace” event to avoid creating work for his wife on the holiday.

“In our stage of being a family, he [Rocco] is very dependent on his mom in so many ways,” Jesse Weinberg said. “So how do we honor his mom without putting more on her plate? And that’s really the sweet spot that we’re going for.”

Janna Glucksman. Credit: Alex Harrison

Janna Glucksman

Glucksman, 39, said her family doesn’t do a large celebration for Mother’s Day, as “mothers should be celebrated every day,” but added she’ll “take whatever I can get on Mother’s Day.”

As for what that “whatever” could be: “If I can sleep in it’ll be a good day. … Get everybody to stay calm and smiley and not whining. But that is not usually how it goes on a Sunday morning,” Glucksman said.

Mya Yee Nandar (right) with her co-dancer, Nyimar.

Mya Yee Nandar

Nandar and her co-dancer, Nyimar, attended the festival as traditional peacock dancers from Myanmar. She said the holiday is very special to them, as mothers are revered in their culture.

“Mother is equivalent to God, or whatever higher power you believe [in],” said Nandar, 43. “We love mothers since we’re born until [they] die, and beyond her death, and they will be with us forever and ever.”

She said they came from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to perform over Mother’s Day weekend in part to raise awareness of the Myanmar civil war. The majority of their dances, Nandar said, are “dedicated to mothers and children who are struggling during the war.”

Stephen Nitz with his grandmother, Betty.

Stephen Nitz

Nitz, 35, toured the festival with his grandmother Betty, and said he’s glad to be spending quality time with her and his mother as they visit from out of town during the weekend.

“Mother’s Day is just a recognition of the hard work that it takes to be a woman, to be a mother, to raise life, to birth life,” Nitz said. “And I think it’s a celebration of all that that takes, and all that that entails.”

He said he also sends his wife, the mother of their daughter, on a spa day and tries to “make sure she does as little as possible on Mother’s Day.”

Celia Carlino with her son, Andres.

Celia Carlino

Carlino, 45, said mothers are “so powerful,” as they help guide their children into becoming the fullest versions of themselves as they grow into adults.

“My mother took the time to take care of me, and just by the simple things in life, by giving you food, giving you love, giving you their time, giving you the best they could,” Carlino said. “And now, when it is my turn to be a mom, maybe I copy some values that I got from my mom, but I also create my own values by taking care of my children.”

She said her family doesn’t have big plans, and she simply looks forward to cuddling with her kids and husband on Mother’s Day morning – as she put it, enjoying “the laziness of being in bed.”

Alex Harrison

Alex Harrison joined the RoundTable in 2022 for the summer in between his undergraduate and graduate studies at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Since then, he continues to write...

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