It's a privilege to be on the cover of this month's Chicago Parent. Little Devin and I have a lot of fun hanging out together each day, and I'm grateful for the time I get to spend with him.
When I was younger, someone told me that the greatest gift a child could ever receive was time with his or her parents. That's always stuck with me and I do everything I can to not focus so much on what toys I get for Devin, but on how much time I spend with him. That's the most important thing, and the off-season gives me a great opportunity to be with him a lot. I'm thankful for that.
One thing we really enjoy doing with Devin is walking along the lake on Lakeshore Drive. You see the entire world go by, and Devin points to just about everything in his sight.
Navy Pier continues to be one of our favorite destinations because there is so much for Devin to see and do. We probably went down to Navy Pier too late one evening last year because it was past Devin's bedtime, but there was an awesome fireworks display synchronized to music. They do the fireworks displays off Navy Pier every Wednesday and Saturday night.
Another fun place we like to stroll is the Green City Market, located next to the Lincoln Park Zoo. This place is full of locally grown produce. They have all kinds of treats, and Devin hasn't said "no" to many things when we've gone. Once he gets older, I'm sure we'll send Devin to some of the fun events that teach kids about farming. A lot of people picnic down at the market, and it's something we've done, too. I think it surprises some people when they see a Bears player picnicking with his family at the market!
One more thing we might try this year is the Strawberry Festival in Long Grove. It's about 35 miles northwest of Chicago, but it's going to be worth the trip. Devin loves strawberries, and the three-day festival from June 24-26 looks like a lot of fun. They usually get thousands of people visiting the event. They have chocolate-covered strawberries, fruit smoothies, ice cream, strawberry doughnuts and of course, strawberries themselves. I know Devin is going to have fun that weekend.
Devin has a great time in the stroller when we're all together no matter what we do. The walks along Lakeshore are memorable, and I know that's the most important thing.
Devin Hester is a wide receiver for the Chicago Bears. Last season, he set the NFL record for return touchdowns.
Devin Hester is a receiver for the Chicago Bears and father of Devin, 1.
See more of Devin's stories here.