Forever Young

March 25, 2012
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"James, what are you doing?" Susanne sighs.
"What's it loOK like? I'm swinging!" He exclaims, a goofy smile lighting up his face.
"Come away from there, dear. You aren't a kid anymore." Susanne says softly. James stops swinging and reaches out for her. She walks closer and he pulls her in close, putting his lips to her ears.
"You're never too young to swing." He whispers. She sighs, sitting next to him.
"Come on, give it a try." He urges. She bites her lip but gives in. Soon they're both laughing and swinging high. But their fun ends when their seven year old runs up sobbing. James and Susanne kneel next to him, talking softly and comforting him.
"It's OK, Danny." James whispers, hugging him close. Danny loOKs up at him, the tears finally stopping.
"They stole my balloon." He says, his voice shaky.
"I'll get you an even better balloon, OK?" James promises. Danny smiles widely, all sorrow forgotten.
"Can we go now?" He asks.
"Of course." Susanne says, smiling warmly. They get to their feet and James lifts Danny into the air. As they walk he swings him around, throwing him in the air and catching his easily, all the while laughing boisterously.
Susanne smiles quietly, laughing.
"Mommy, he's going to eat me!" Danny squeals.
"Oh no he isn't!" She exclaims, swooping in and rescuing him from his dad. She pushes James playfully and he pretends to stumble backwards. Then he moves forward, taking Danny back into his arms. The little boy wraps his arms around his neck, giggling.
"I love you!" He says, smiling at both his parents. They smile at him, as they enter a small toy shop. James sets Danny on the ground who quickly runs off to explore.
"See? You have to be a kid to raise a kid." James says. Susanne laughs.
"If you weren't you'd just go insane!" She agrees. He laughs, kissing her cheek.
"Now, let's get him an even better balloon than before." He says. She nods and they turn to the display behind the counter. There are all kinds of balloons; dinosaurs, Barbies, dogs, cats, tigers, castles, fish and more.
"What about the plane?" James asks, pointing up at a balloon in the shape of a big black jet with dragons down the side.
"He would love it." Susanne says. As Susanne talks to the man at the counter James goes to find Danny.
He finds him playing with toy planes and he easily sneaks up on him, tickling him fiercely. Danny laughs, pretending to launch missiles at him from the planes. James collapses to the floor saying, "Oh no! You got me! How can I go on?" Danny giggles and puts the toys back, pouncing on his father.
"Oof." James exclaims, the air leaving his body. He recovers quickly and rolls to his feet, tucking Danny under his arm. He runs to the front of the store and stops next to Susanne, who holds the balloon. Danny stops struggling, staring up at the balloon in amazement. He squirms out of his dad's grip and reaches up for the balloon. Smiling, Susanne ties the ribbon around his wrist.

That night, after Danny has already gone to bed, James gets a phone call from an old friend.
"Hey, Chris, what's up?" He says.
"My wife just had a baby boy." Chris says excitedly. "I have no idea how to raise him, James." James smiles slightly.
"I'll let you in on a little secret. You have to be a kid yourself." James replies. "If you aren't then they'll just ignore you. And we'll get our sons together some time, when yours is old enough."
"Thank you so much, James. I'll bring him around soon so you can see him." Chris says. "And Mary wants to see you and Susanne as well."
"What's his name?" James asks.
"William James Smith." Chris replies. James laughs.
"I can't wait to see you guys." He says.
"I have to go, Mary's calling for me." Chris says.
"If you have any questions call." James says.
"I will. Thanks." Chris replies.
"You're welcome. Goodnight, Chris." James says.
"Goodnight." Chris murmurs. They hang up and James smiles at Susanne.
"Chris just entered fatherhood." He says. She grins.
"He has a lot to learn, just like I did when we had Danny." She says.
"You learned fast though." James replies.
"You just have to be young at heart." Susanne says, hugging him tightly before turning out the light. "Goodnight, James."
"Goodnight, Susanne." He whispers.

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