Michelle Malkin tweeted this story out earlier and I have to say it really is the best thing I’ve read all day. Maybe you’ve seen the photo already but what’s important is the story behind it.
Florida State University football players visited a Middle School today. During lunch, wide receiver Travis Rudolph noticed one student, Bo Paske, who was sitting off on his own and decided to ask if he could join him. When a picture of the two sharing lunch made it back to Bo’s mother, Leah Paske, she posted it on Facebook and explained why it was such an emotional moment:
Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really? I remember one kid on the bus called me “Tammy Fay Baker” bc I started awkwardly wearing eye liner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn’t see me anymore I cried. I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I’m grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone. It’s one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son” I replied “who is that?” He said “FSU football player”, then I had tears streaming down my face. Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life! #travisrudolph #autismmom #fansforlife
I’ve read this three times now and it still gets me.
Didn’t we used to have sports heroes and movie stars who routinely did kind things for children? I guess we still do but it often seems like we hear so many stories about football players being arrested that the positive stories get overwhelmed.
Kudos to Travis Rudolph. I don’t know anything about him as a player but as a man he seems to have a lot more going for him than just athletic talent.
— FSU Football (@FSU_Football) August 31, 2016