My colleague Petula Dvorak got my attention the other day when she punctured the common wisdom of what moms really want for Mother’s Day.

This is what she wrote: “Want to know what we really want for Mother’s Day? We want to get away from you. All of you.”

Clarifying her dream gift, she added: “This isn’t a request for a white tea harmony pedicure or sea-scrub facial. Not a girls’ night out with margaritas. Not even a shopping spree. Just. Some. Quiet.”

Dvorak’s column roughly coincided with the following sentence my wife Megan uttered on the couch the other night: “You know what would be the best present ever? A night alone in the house.”

No kids. No me. (Especially no me.)

I knew Megan was serious because after a brief period of silence she added the following words: “I’m serious.”

I have not scrubbed her laptop or cellphone to look for evidence of a conspiracy between my wife and Petula, but I suspect any such conspiracy is actually much larger: Moms want and need to be left alone every now and then, and Petula tapped into this sentiment in her life, my wife’s life and probably many others.

So I salute all of you mothers out there today. I salute my wife Megan, my mom Claire, my mother-in-law Ellen, my sister Amy, and my sister-in-law Shannon (and Melissa). I especially remember Barb and Judy, two wonderful moms who aren’t with us anymore and are missed dearly today by their daughters, who are amazing mothers themselves.

And I hereby present my wife Megan with the following gift, with a nod of thanks to Petula and Microsoft Word:


Feel free to cut out the certificate and use it for that special mom in your own life. And tell me how you spent your day below.

Happy Mother’s Day.