Fans have come to know Misha Collins as the lovable, determined, sometimes naïve, trench-wearing angel Castiel on Supernatural. The character quickly became a fan favorite onscreen and Collins was turned into a series regular. Like Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, he’s loved off screen too and is part of the larger Supernatural family.
Family. It’s one of the overarching themes on the show, butin real life, Collins is a dedicated family man with a wife and two children. Herecently penned an essay on what it was like for him growing up with his singlemom and brother, and admits that although life was somewhat “adventurous,” it’saffected how he parents.
Collins had a storied childhood
The actor wrote a piece for TheNew York Times and shared that he and his family would sometimes live in thewoods in a tent. Because his mother would frame things in a whimsical, fun wayand they were young, he didn’t really realize they were on occasion, homeless. Ifthey weren’t in a home, Collins and his family would be camping out in a car(or tent), jumping on freight trains, or hitchhiking, bouncing from place toplace.
“Instead of passing the time with Play-Doh and papier-mâché crafting like other families, we made cardboard signs that read “No Nukes” and carried them proudly at marches all along the East Coast from Washington, D.C., to Seabrook, N.H.; along the way, we learned about the Cold War and civil rights and chanted, ‘Power to the people!’
We hopped into slow-moving, empty boxcars on freight trains and scored hot meals at soup kitchens. Occasionally, on our journeys, the kindness of strangers would bring unexpected bounty.”
Moving around often meant Collins had difficulty forminglasting friendships, but he still went to school and hung out. He mentions itwas hard to call a place home.
Why he felt some parts of his youth were ‘dangerous’
Now that Collins is older, he feels his childhood wasn’t always the safest, and compares some of his experiences to that of his own children. He feels some aspects of his youth were frightening.
“At 9 and 7, my kids still find most Pixar movies too scary, but when I was 10, I was getting sunburnt working on a cucumber farm and was haunted with recurring nightmares about nuclear holocaust after watching apocalyptic movies at the art-house theater with my mom.”
“Mom didn’t have money for babysitters, and sometimes when I was as young as 6, I was left alone to watch my little brother. We survived, but in truth, 6-year-olds make pretty terrible babysitters. I once sent my own 6-year-old downstairs alone so I could get another half-hour of sleep, but I was soon awoken by a high-pitched scream. My daughter, set on making me breakfast in bed, had coated the kitchen floor with olive oil so that she could rollerblade more swiftly while making waffles.”
He’s more conscientious of what could be considered risky for his children, and spends more time interacting with them so they can avoid what’s “dangerous.”
Still, Collins found lots of love, happiness, and warmth in his upbringing
One of the things that sticks out to Collins the most fromthose days is that in spite of their circumstances, his mom always made surethey had a warm meal. Upon reflection, he discovered that it was something thatkept their family close and as kids, gave them a sense of safety and home.
“Whether she was cooking chicken soup on an electric hot plate or we weresitting on a log eating eggplant parmesan prepared on a campfire, Mom fed uswith thoughtful attention. She showed her love daily through the food she cooked.”
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Some people use "salad spinners", but my family prefers the old-school method of line-drying our greens. Get our new book, #TheAdventurousEatersClub! 100% of our profits go to charity—with a focus programs that provide healthy food for kids in need. adventurouseatersclub.com LINK IN PROFILE 📸: @michelemwaite_photo
Those memories and the hustle and bustle of his adult life made Collins stop and think about what his own family has been missing when it comes to the magic of a family meal. He’s chosen to practice new habits with cooking and sharing food with his kids, and that’s now culminated in a new book co-authored by his wife, Vicki Collins. The Adventurous Eaters Club hit stands on Nov. 5.
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