Colin Field is an outdoor adventure photographer, writer and editor, based near Collingwood, Ontario.

What if?

One of my biggest pet peeves is when editors put their own kids in the magazine. It’s so, for lack of a better word, scrap-bookish. No matter the genre of magazine, no matter the relevance of the photo, once an editor has kids, they will end up in the magazine. It’s inevitable.

I held off as long as I could, but couldn’t fight it any longer. Everything changes with kids of your own.

This was my son Taj’s first canoe trip last spring. As any parent knows, the amount of gear, planning and stress that come with a youngster is daunting. The diapers, the wipes, the sunscreen, the lifejackets, the snacks, the bottles, the logistics and most discouraging of all, the “what-ifs.” Like what if he cries the whole time? What if he hates it? What if the black flies come out this afternoon? What if it’s too cold? What if it’s too hot? What if it rains? What if it snows?

This mellow meander down the Beaver River had my boy lulled to sleep shortly after this photo. We drifted silently with the current, all three of us enjoying the fresh air while mom and dad whispered about the creation of family traditions and how a spring Beaver River trip would now be one of ours. The planning, the gear and the crying all evaporated for a couple hours of bliss.

It’s often the what-ifs of worst-case scenarios that shut down adventure. Sometimes, these are totally relevant and should be heeded. But sometimes they’re not. My boy is not in the magazine for some family scrap-booking project. He’s in the magazine to remind us about the other what-ifs: the best-case scenarios that we often forget to ask ourselves.

Like what if everything goes perfectly? What if he loves it?



1 Comment

  • Jen Says

    Love it…we do often forget to think about how perfect it will be…thanks for the reminder! What a handsome fellow…P.S. love the gopro vidoe…skiing! Not sure if he is worried, cold, curious…or maybe all of these things?

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