A love letter to my daughter

…as she becomes a mother

LOVE Parent Child June 2024  image
Susie Wexler and her daughter Marisa

Dear daughter,

I am so excited for you to experience motherhood. It is a love like no other, and I cannot wait for you to feel, for yourself, the depth of feeling that I have for you. Yes, parenthood is an emotional rollercoaster, highs, lows, unexpected loops, and all; having a child straps you in for the ride of your life. Ours has been a unique ride and I am a better person for having been your mom.

You have always held a special place in my heart. As the first born, you taught me how to be a mom. You showed me the world of the early bird. I learned how to be a Sherpa, volunteer, and cheerleader as you ushered me into activities previously unknown. Through you, I found ways to utilize my master's degree in social work, whether it was holding feelings or understanding systems. Most of all, you opened the door to understanding unconditional love--that bottomless repository of pride, caring, and hope that wells up when I think of you.

From the first time my eyes beheld you, I was smitten, falling madly and deeply in love. And then you let out a scream, moving me from adoring observer to caregiver. Immediately my role was defined; I would do everything I could to let you know that I was here for you. I would take care of you. I would adore you, and support your being the best version of yourself possible. 

As you grew, we learned together how to navigate the journey of life and its expansive array of feelings. My love for you rode the waves of from amazing accomplishments, to broken hearts. At times I found myself watching you, as gratitude coursed through me. How could such an amazing human being be my child? Other days it felt the tsunami of adolescent feelings would upend us both. 

As you will soon learn, being a mom is challenging. It tests every aspect of your being. Yet through all the moments, big and small, I have felt tremendous pride in the way you make the world a better place, through the relationships you nurture and values you hold dear. 

I love your sense of humor, tenacity, and incredible musical talent. You are smart, kind, thoughtful, and caring. 

The day came where you told dad and me that you had come to an understanding: You were a woman who had been living in a male body. As I reflected on the impact transition would have on our family, I realized that our unconditional love had been preparation for this moment. While your gender transitioned, your sense of humor, compassion, and commitment to family remain the same. If anything, you are now a happier, more joyful version of the capable and competent person you have always been. 

Watching you support your wife, Elyse, through pregnancy, I see the caregiver you are prepared to be. I look at you and see your eyes sparkle with the depth of your spirit, and know that you are simply perfect--the best gift I ever received. While there are times that challenge, any relationship that is truly valued deserves our best attention. You, Marisa, are my gift. I love you, and am so proud of you. I always have been and always will be. 

- Mom


Susie Wexler lives in the North Shore in the home her adult children use to revisit childhood memories. When not kvelling about her three amazing children, she is the Director of Jewish Living and Learning at Congregation B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim.   


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