For Kate Gosselin, her sextuplets' 13th birthday was an emotional one. 

The Kate Plus 8 reality star rang in her kids' latest milestone with a camp-themed soirée, but one Gosselin teen was noticeably missing from the pack—Collin. As the mom of eight confirmed to People last summer, her son has special needs and has been away at a program designed to help him gain better "life skills." 

Despite Collin's absence, the family carried on during the premiere episode aired on Monday night. While the boys, Aaden and Joel, had fun with a scavenger hunt and cooking over a camp fire, the ladies, Alexis, Hannah and Leah, enjoyed mani-pedis and arts and crafts.

Soon, it came time to blow out the candles on their customized cakes and make some wishes for the year ahead. Meanwhile, for Kate, Collin was not far from her mind. 

"The photos around the cake, I have them for every year, every child, every birthday. We always have the big birthday party at home on their birthday...got 'em for every year," Kate explained. "This year [was] much like last year, obviously the difference is that Collin wasn't there."

As she emotionally continued, "I am comforted with the fact that my kids, all of them, each unique child, is receiving exactly what they need and that hasn't changed." However, that doesn't mean the family doesn't feel an emptiness in their clan. 

"I've said that before, I'll say it again. It's a bittersweet moment...we've had many of them. You can't do anything without realizing he's missing, so we may not say it, but it's always there."

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