Mike Heck Strikes Again

I’ve written here before about the show, The Middle. Love it. I was catching up on some episodes when Mike Heck, the father in the show, struck again.

Sue is roommates with Lexi and they share an apartment. In this particular episode Lexi was off with her parents so Sue had the whole apartment to herself. The first thing she decides to do is watch some movies she’s put off watching, including a fun farm flick called “Silence of the Lambs”. As we all know that is not a fun farm flick filled with sweet frolicking animals. Too bad Sue did not.

She watches the movie and then can’t sleep. For almost 72 hours she can’t get to sleep no matter what she tries. Finally, her dad shows up.

She wonders why he is there and he tells her her mom had told him she couldn’t sleep. He tells her about how, even when she was a baby, she was so energetic she found it difficult to sleep and no one could get her to fall asleep except him. He goes on to explain that only he could figure out the right way to swaddle her, and once she was bundled up he would place her on his forearm and carry her around while telling her all about what happened during his day, putting her to sleep.

With that he puts the blanket around her and swaddles her up, then adjusts her on the couch so she’s laying against him (obviously he can’t carry her around on his forearm any longer). Once she is comfortable he begins talking about his day at the quarry, every last boring detail, and with that, Sue finally falls asleep.

I know it’s a fictitious family but it’s about as real a depiction as you’re going to get on TV. And you probably have to be familiar with the show to really appreciate the little nuances. Mike is a pretty no nonsense type of dad so seeing these sweet moments with Sue melts my heart. Truthfully I teared up a bit while watching this.

Once again I am reminded of the stark difference between Mike Heck and CF. My children should have a father like that. I know they exist. I watch on weekends as the mobster makes egg sandwiches for his daughter and her friends. I watch on weekdays as he makes hot chocolate and toast and brings it up to her. I hear him as he tells her goodnight and that he loves her every night when she goes to bed. So I know that even though Mike Heck is a fictitious character, men like him exist. Dads like him exist.

The saddest part of all of this is that I truly believe CF had the capability of being such a dad. I remember him crying the day she was born. “We have a daughter,” he said through his tears. I remember him taking naps with her. I think back to the story my friend told of him doting on Rock Star while I visited with her and my other friend during dinner; he rocked her and talked to her and held her. I remember how Picasso would crawl as fast as he could when CF got home from work, so eager to see his dad. There are pictures of him holding one or both of them, playing the role of beloved daddy.

Then, of course, we have what all has been reported in his new family. Showing up for show and tell with his “stepson”. Showing up for cheer competitions for his “stepdaughter”. Who knows what all he does, what all he has done? Maybe he’s finally living that happy family life he reportedly wanted so badly but couldn’t have with me for whatever reason.

All I know is my kids deserve a hell of a lot better.

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