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The internet is sharing a photo, which captures the poignant moment when an American Football player decided to sit and eat his lunch with a child with autism during a visit to his school.
Most visitors would choose to sit on the staff table and some wouldn't even enter the lunch hall, but Travis Rudolph, wide receiver for Florida State Seminoles, is not most visitors.
The 20-year-old player apparently asked whether Bo, who was eating alone, would mind if he could join him in the lunch room.
Bo asked Rudolph whether he was in the NFL, to which the athlete replied, "not yet."
In a heart-felt Facebook post, Bo's mother, Leah Paske, from Florida, embedded the photo of the pair enjoying their lunch.
The post read:
"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 eyeliner 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.
"I'm not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a table with my son, but I'm happy to say 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!"
With that, I am convinced that human kindness still exists.
Featured image credit: PA
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