Sean Penn, Charlize Theron son Jackson LAX

Sean Penn and Charlize Theron returned to L.A. with Char's son Jackson, on Thursday, and Penn kept his cool, even though the couple was surrounded by paparazzi.

The actor has certainly turned over a new leaf since being with Theron ... remember back in the day when Sean would sucker punch a pap just for taking a photo of on the sidewalk?!

Well it seems he's got his famous temper under control ... and then some. Charlize has been raving about her boyfriend in a recent interview with Esquire Magazine, "Yeah, my life is really good."

Cute, talented actor boyfriend and an adorable son ... life IS good!