Seeing ourselves in ?The Middle? of it

Recently, my family and I have become devoted fans of ?The Middle.? If you?re not familiar with the ABC sitcom, ?The Middle? is a show about the adventures and misadventures of the Hecks, a middle-class family living in the middle of the country.

Sounds a lot like most of the families around here, right?

It?s not very often that a TV show focuses on what it?s like to be average. But ?The Middle? does, and that?s what makes it so relatable and fun to watch.

The Heck family, which consists of the dad, Mike, the mom, Frankie, and children Axl, Sue and Brick, is a fairly typical Midwestern family, with some slightly exaggerated mishaps and personality quirks.

As we sit in our living room and relax while watching an episode of ?The Middle,? my family and I can?t help but laugh when we see ourselves in the characters and situations. Some?times it?s as if the writers had been watching our family with a hidden camera when they wrote some scenes.

While I don?t relate to one Heck child in particular, I think I, along with most other teens, have a little bit of all three in me.

Axl, the oldest son, is lazy, under motivated and more concerned about sports than academics. Yet deep underneath that, he shows flashes of kindness and cares for his family. While it?s not a characteristic I?m proud of, I?ll admit that I can be lazy at times, although I?m not quite as underachieving as Axl.

Sue is my favorite character on the show, and I think we should all try to be a little more Sue-like. She is overly optimistic, full of school spirit and bubbly, and at the same time a little socially awkward. The walls of her room are covered with motivational posters and she never gives up, despite consistently failing. If Sue lived in Hillsboro, I would definitely want to be her friend.

Brick is the odd, exceptionally intelligent youngest child. He usually is reading a book and has a habit of repeating words to himself in a whisper, which is surprisingly quite entertaining to do while talking.

Brick is an example of the unsocial side of a lot of us. At least for me, there have been several times I would rather read a book by myself than having to socialize with other people.

As I watch ?The Middle,? I often wonder who else watches the show. I assume the audience is made up of those like me who are in ?the middle? and can relate to the show?s situations, along with those whose lives are completely different and like watching a different kind of lifestyle.

As Frankie narrates the show, she often describes what it?s like ?out here in the middle.? The show usually comes pretty close to answering that question, but for those of us who are there, what really is it like out here in the middle?

Life?s not super glamorous, that?s for sure. There are no beaches and palm trees, no mountains for skiing.

Originally, I had planned to go far away once I graduate and get a job. I wanted to go somewhere with skyscrapers or beaches. And while I still hope to travel all around the U.S. and the world, something still draws me back here to ?the middle? every time: It?s home.

Out here in the middle, we don?t need big, tall buildings or tropical beaches (although they would be nice) because this is home, and that?s where the heart is.

Out here in the middle, family is the most important thing. The people in the middle are what make it special. Ball games, campfires and family gatherings don?t require fancy things, but they?re some of the small things that make living in the middle worthwhile.

Just like in ?The Middle,? most of us have crazy, sometimes dysfunctional families that we love anyway. There?s a lot to love about the middle (although it would be a little more lovable without the wind and tornadoes) and that?s why we all call it home.