“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.”
This is Leah Paske from Florida with her son, Bo.
On Tuesday, Paske shared an incredibly touching photo on Facebook showing Travis Rudolph, a Florida State University football player, sharing lunch with Bo — who has autism — at Bo’s school.
In her Facebook post accompanying the photo, Paske described her anxiety for Bo's foray into middle school.
“Sometimes I'm grateful for his autism,” Paske wrote. “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.”
Paske said that every day she asked Bo who he ate lunch with at school. “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,” she said.
So when a friend sent Paske the photo saying, “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son,” Paske, who only then learned that Rudolph was an FSU football player, said, “I had tears streaming down my face.”