Being a middler schooler is tough–it’s that time where the “cool kids’ table” and gossip and your own social awareness is heightened. And you know, that’s when those pesky things such as hormones play a factor too. Because of this, many kids tend to feel lonely and isolated, which is why one mom is so grateful about what happened during her son’s lunch time recently.

Yesterday, Leah Paske wrote a long Facebook post about how some Florida State football players visited Montford Middle School in Tallahassee yesterday–the school her son Bo attends. At the time, Paske didn’t realize it until a friend sent her a photo of WR Travis Rudolph eating lunch with Bo, who has austism.

She explained why it meant so much to her:

“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.

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!”

Read the rest of her post below:

If only more people did small acts of kindness like this, it would brighten up the lives of so many.

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