When I'm sitting with Wolf at my breast at 5 in the morning, I think about just a couple of years before when being up before dawn meant something entirely different. Dragging myself out of bed at 4:30, getting dressed, brushing my teeth then heading out into the quiet darkness to walk to work. I'd be far too sleepy to be afraid of what I might encounter on my way. On Sunday mornings I'd have the benefit of seeing drunk and exhausted youth at the end of their big night out; I'd sometimes find boys passed out in shop doorways. It was strange that I was around the same age as those kids, and just when their night was ending, my day had already begun.
And then I'd get to the front door of the patisserie and find that my keys weren't in my pocket. I'd get a cold wash of terror then. I was meant to be inside already, warming up the oven, pulling out trays of croissant and brioche from the prover to be egg washed. Having no keys meant that my Boss and teacher would arrive in an hour expecting the all important pastry products cooling on trolley only to find me freezing on the sidewalk, cringing. Following that would be a good chewing out but no opportunity to grab some breakfast.
Life is so much better now. I would much rather wake early to the cries of my hungry baby boy than the beeping of an alarm and the prospect of a good arse kicking. Sure, I eat museli instead of croissants for breakfast. But I would rather be feeding Wolfgang than fattening the masses before dawn.