A passion for Hockey: Jude turns 7
Happy 7th Birthday Jude!
I can remember praying fervently for Jude to develop a passion for something and praying that we as parents would be able to recognize that passion and encourage and support him to grow in that sport or activity. Naturally, Josh enrolled him in sports at 3 years old, but Jude was never hesitant to play. He was always incredibly eager and ready whether it be basketball, t-ball, soccer, football— you name it, Jude has played it. However, playing one sport after the next back to back can be super exhausting especially when you add in multiple kids, school, church, work, life.
I began to feel impatient for God to light a fire in Jude's heart toward one or even just two sports to focus on because I was tired. Now, to be realistic, it can be super hard to figure out what a kid truly likes and where their talent may lie at an early age. I am not saying it is not possible, because it is, but with some kids it can just take longer. And then it happened.
During the summer of 2015 the library was having a reading event at our local ice park. Jude was 5 and it was the second time I had ever taken him out to the ice rink. I grew up wishing I could be a figure skater, but we did not get an ice rink until the year I was graduating high school so as soon as Jude turned 2 1/2 I could not wait for him to try it out (and I always loved an excuse to go myself). When he was 2, he did fine. When he was 5, he was literally RUNNING the ice rink. And that was how it all began.
From then on, all we heard was how he wanted to play ice hockey, so we enrolled him in lessons the following January. Jude has played hockey back to back all year and continued to progress from one program to the next. He loves it and I love to see his excitement and enthusiasm for something he loves so much. It is hard to put into words how much joy it can bring to watch your child find something he loves so much, that you can not help but encourage and support him in that endeavor.
We are already getting the comments and questions like, "Wow, hockey really?! That is a really expensive sport. Aggressive too!" and more that are incredibly similar.
Here is the deal. This does not have to be his lifelong passion. Right now it is part of his self-discovery as he is growing and it is heart warming. If his love for hockey changes, that will be ok.
"Hopefully I can be a light in the hockey world and promote faith as something that's really real."
— Mike Fisher
That is my prayer for this kid. I pray that no matter where his joy is found, that he may let his light shine before others so they may see his good works and give glory to the Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16) I believe if God's chooses to use Jude in Hockey, he can and will. I am just glad to be a part of the ways in which Christ will work in his life.
Jude loves to go to the Hockey games. His face is glued to the glass the entire time. Whenever he has a couple weeks off, he will ask to go to the rink just to skate around because he misses it.
" I love playing Hockey because it challenges me."
— Jude Oliver age 6
I have never been an advocate of keeping your kids in activities to keep a busy schedule, but when you are able to encourage and support your child in an activity they are passionate about, I know in the long run all those times driving to practice and money invested in his equipment will be worth it.
When we started talking about his 7th birthday, the party option was a no brainer. The first 6 years of his life he has had a birthday party at home with family and a couple close friends, so this was the first time we tried a birthday party somewhere other than home.
I always say I am going to keep it simple, and then I have a hard time sticking to it. Well, this was by far our most simple party yet! We ended up renting out a party room for 1 hour right before a college hockey game. We ate pizza, sang Happy Birthday, ate cake, opened presents and headed down to watch the game. It was a BLAST. Jude has so much fun watching the game with his family and a few of his close buddies.
Here are a few of the details from the party. If you have a hockey lover like I do, I would highly recommend doing something similar. It was simple, fun and extremely memorable.
If you want super yummy and insanely adorable cookies for a birthday party or an event, contact Jen with Sunshine Sweets!
I always have had a blast coming up with birthday party ideas for Jude. This hockey party was the first one we have had outside of our home and it was incredibly smooth and so much fun!
Thank you for to all of our family and friends for sending love to Jude on his special day! I can not believe my baby boy is 7!
Have a great week, and a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone. :)