A parent sent Bo’s mom a photo of Bo sitting with the FSU receiver, and she detailed the visit in a Facebook post.
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!
Rudolph told reporters after the visit that the two had a great conversation. Nicely done, Travis.
Awesome way to start off the day here, with FSU wide receiver Travis Rudolph eating lunch with a kid who has autism and was eating alone. It's always nice to see some positive stories coming from college football, mostly because we see so many negative ones arise. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher doesn't allow his players to use social media during the season, so Rudolph may not be aware of how much his small act of kindness is being appreciated. I hope one of his friends or coaches tells him that his actions are appreciated, although I'm sure he isn't out looking for recognition.
Mrs. Paske's Facebook post is what really got me. She really is so truly appreciative that Rudolph took the time just to sit down with her son and have a conversation and a meal. I'm not sure if Bo sat on his own every day, or if yesterday was an unusual exception, but one thing's for sure: he won't be sitting on his own very much anymore. It's a domino effect. Now, I bet everyone's going to want to sit with Bo Paske. Bo's going to be the king of his school. All the other kids in his grade are going to want to talk with Bo about Travis and see what the wide receiver from their favorite college football team is like. It's crazy the kind of impact one small kind gesture can have.