Same with kittens. Our gorgeous cuddly new additions have reached the end of the molly coddling stage - it's time for the getting out into the big bad world stage (once the micro chipping is in place). We've had the 'hate wearing collars with an absolute passion' disastrous attempt today. I only want them to wear collars in case they get lost and a neighbour can then return them. Trying to control outcomes is hopeless though. It's about letting go. There's always risk in growing up: look at The Snowman - joyous dancing in Lapland one day; melted in a heap the next.
I've heard The Snowman mined for theological insights into the problem of freewill one too many times, but still it's persuasive: if you create something with autonomy you forfeit the right to control the outcome of the creature's choices. Something alive is so precious and fragile but keeping it locked safely indoors for ever defeats the point of being alive. We are made to grow up. As Mothering Sunday rolls onto the horizon, and clergy do their best to make it a joyful celebration as well as remembering that there is pain woven into so many things-parenting; maybe the best lesson is that mothering (parenting) is ultimately about letting go.