Following my rather rambling explorations last week I've had lots of time to reflect, think, and take in people's comments on Facebook. This issue of what's the ultimate point hasn't let me go. But I feel like I may have the beginnings of an answer. Or perhaps, all there is to the whole answer.
What if, at the end of the day, parenting is about love?
Roll your eyes all you want. Of course that's obvious. But it's deep, too - much deeper than trite greeting card wisdom and worn-out proverbial sayings.
'Becauses' reduce the love, because it becomes conditional. We don't love our children because they do well: they are not our projects to turn out well. Projects are worked on, not loved. We are to just love.
Perhaps this is why becoming a parent is such a spiritual experience for many. This is where we, sometimes suddenly, sometimes more gradually, experience the power of a love based on... love, and we begin to understand in our own small ways what God's love is like. We get a glimpse of God's very own heart, his very own emotions. Love based on... love himself.
I don't know why, and I can't put it into words yet, but I love this child I haven't even met yet.