Recently, Jon Gosselin shared rare photos from a trip to California.
17-year-old Hannah looked cheerful, smiling at the camera.
But longtime Gosselin fans found themselves asking a question that they once only asked when Kate was involved:
Where the heck is Collin?
For anyone who needs their memory refreshed, “where is Collin” is an all-too-familiar question.
Years ago, Kate Gosselin would gleefully share birthday photos and video for all five of her sextuplets.
Oh, that’s right, there are six sextuplets … but one of them was missing: Collin.
The truth turned out to be that Collin, a longtime target of Kate’s wrath, had been shipped off to an institution.
Yes, Kate fulfilled the wildest dreams of a villainous stepmom in a direct-to-video ’90s Mary Kate & Ashley movie.
She banished Collin, cutting off contact between him and his siblings and costing him vital socialization time.
However, custody is a complicated thing — once kids reach a certain age, they generally get a say in which parent is their guardian.
That is how Hannah was able to escape from Kate.
Like any other defector from a brutal dictatorship, she yearned for her freedom — and with Jon, she could live a normal life.
Together, they went to visit Collin.
Then, as soon as Jon was able, he was able to bring Collin home, too.
Returning to the real world after being institutionalized is never easy, especially after a lifetime of childhood trauma before that.
When Jon shared the travel photos, fans were happy to see them.
But … why wasn’t Collin pictured anywhere around Jon and Hannah?
That’s what Jon’s fans and followers quickly began to ask.
Of course, not all “Where’s Collin?” questions received affirming responses.
“None of ur beeswax,” wrote one follower.
Another simply suggested: “Maybe he is in the backseat.” After all, not everyone likes to be photographed, least of all teens.
Speaking of Collin’s age, another wrote: “living life, being a teen.”
That is a very plausible explanation.
And there is some family history that makes this explanation seem very likely.
During a previous outing, Jon Gosselin celebrated the Fourth of July with Hannah and with Colleen,, who is now his ex.
There was no sign of Collin in the picture.
Jon simply explained that Collin had his own plans for that day, and affirmed that it was fine.
See, for all of his flaws — and yes, he has them, just like everyone else — Jon sees his children as people.
It has never been clear that Kate fully sees and understands that children are people with their own thoughts and feelings.
So if Hannah wants a nose ring or if Collin wants to hang out with friends on Independence Day, there would need to be a good reason to say “no.”
But rest assured, Collin does participate in family activities, including New Year’s Eve — as pictured here.
This is extremely normal, especially for a 17-year-old who might not be interested in whatever has drawn Jon and Hannah to the West Coast.
The only part that’s not normal about this is that the Gosselins are famous, so their every move is heavily scrutinized.