We have been breathing sweet, honey ham-scented American air for the past 60 hours for the first time in four months.
We are relived to find ourselves home, against all the odds of international travel, threatening weather and incomplete mental states.
Now an eight-day-long war of attrition begins, as America and our loved ones do their very best to lure, cajole, convince, threaten and guilt us into remaining here forever.
Just for the record, it's already working on Sarah. Last night before sleep claimed us she looked me in the face and whimpered, "We stay here and have a baby?" I have to admit that in that moment a thought crossed my mind, like the warm embrace of our families and the glorious certainty of drinkable tap water might be reason enough to abandon all of our carefully planned ambitions.
But I woke up at 5:30 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep, in part because I had terrible dreams and in part because I couldn't stop thinking about my students back in Ankara. I wondered about what toys they got, what funny stories they will tell me when I get back, and I pictured my favorite kids playing in the snow during break time.
Feeling an attachment to children is a new thing for me. I have no siblings and I didn't grow up with any little kids around. Kids have only existed in my consciousness as annoyances or cautionary tales for the past two decades. But thanks to the great kids I get to hang out with five days a week my attitude has changed a lot. As tough as things get sometimes, the pros still outweigh the cons for me.
But I still can't stand flying with small children. On airplanes, I mean. Blimp travel and magic carpets are fine.
So expect us to depart as planned next Saturday night. Unless Sarah attempts a coup. In which case, you probably won't be hearing from me again anyway.