How I Named My Baby: Arrow Lee

How I Named My Baby: Arrow Lee

Sarah and Dave, who own and operate a Dryer Vent Cleaning company, live in Prescott, Arizona with their two children: Willow June and Arrow Lee.

Arrow was born on October 2, 2022. Below, we talk to Sarah about how she and Dave named their little boy.

Tell me how you named Arrow!

I was looking at books and poetry to give me inspiration behind his name. I came across a poem by Kahlil Gibran, "On Children", which is one of my favorites.

There's a line: You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

A light bulb went off — Arrow! What a beautiful name. And a beautiful metaphor as well, with the bow being the parent and the arrow being the child.

The poem explains parents shouldn’t possess their children and force their own ideas of who they should be and what they should think, instead seeing them as infinitely unique beings and should be allowed to show up as their most authentic. That’s exactly what we want for our children, to be able to live their lives authentically and true to themselves.

My husband and I had been bouncing around name ideas, but nothing that ever felt right until I came across the name Arrow. I was nervous to ask Dave what he thought of the Arrow, because it is pretty unique, and I loved it so much — I felt like it was our son's name.

I did my spiel — read him the poem and explained the meaning behind it and how it'd be the perfect choice. To my surprise, he also felt it and knew immediately and said, "I think that's his name."

Did you consider any other names?

We still explored names just in case another one came up, but none of them were a fit like Arrow. We considered Arlo, which is of course very close to Arrow. Marlowe, Koda, and Maven were also on the list. We like a lot of -ow ending names!

I thought Willow and Arrow was the perfect pairing for siblings. They're different enough but still sound similar. Arrow has the double R and Willow has the double L, and of course they both end with -ow.

How did you choose his middle name, Lee?

The middle name was the hardest name to come up with. We tried so many different names to go with Arrow and none of them fit.

My husband's middle name is Lee, but we hadn't seriously considered it. We liked the way Arrow Lee sounds and the way it flowed with our last name.

I started thinking about it more, and my father's middle name is Lee Roy, and my sister's middle name is Leah. So Lee actually was a good way to tie in the names of multiple family members.

How do you feel about your own name and how did it influence your choice?

I'm named after my grandma, who passed away when my mom was pretty young, so I never got to meet her. But, it does feel like an honor to be named after her.

Sarah is a pretty common name, so I heard it a lot growing up. There was always Sarah F. or Sarah G. or Sarah E. in the classroom. I definitely felt like I wanted to give my kids more unique names that would make them stand out, and so that nobody would likely have the same name as them.

Did you have any big fears related to baby names?

I was a little afraid that his name would be too unique and that he would be judged or stick out too much. I worried that he wouldn't like his name because it is so uncommon. I have such a classic name, so I don't know what that process or journey is like.

Ultimately, wanting him to have a name where he stands out and is uniquely his own self was more important to me.

What was the most surprising part of the baby name process?

It was surprising that Dave and I were on the same page with choosing such a unique first name. I hear so many people that disagree with their spouse on names — they love a name and then they can't use it because their partner doesn't like it. It's probably pretty unusual that I came to my husband with this unique name and he loved it as much as I did.

What was the name process like for Willow?

We went through several miscarriages before having Willow. I knew I wanted a really meaningful name for her, and something connected to nature. Willow trees are known to be resilient and withstand major storms. She was our rainbow baby, and we were in a dark and stormy period of our lives before having her.

Her middle name is June, after my mom. We kept both of the kids' names a secret until they were born, but when we were in the hospital with Willow, I wrote my mom a letter explaining that we were naming Willow after her.

There were a lot of tears and it was a really sweet moment. It felt really special to carry on the tradition of naming my daughter after my mom, since I'm named after her mom.

What advice would you give to someone who's just starting the baby name process?

Narrow it down to what types of names you like — nature names or unique names or vintage names. Do you like names that end in O or N or L? That helped us hone our style, and we could branch out from there.

Saying the name out loud also helped us a lot. It solidified that Arrow was supposed to be his name.

How would you describe your style beyond baby names?

We took a Montessori approach to parenting our kids, so we have a lot of natural wood furniture in Willow's room specifically. A lot of her toys are made of natural products and wood. Everything's neutral, but then we have pops of color.

Willow has a big colorful rainbow rug in her room. We we went with a rainbow theme for, because she's our rainbow baby. She loves sparkles and pink and all the rainbow colors. So I think I was onto something when I decorated her room.

Did Arrow receive any special gifts?

For my baby shower, I had everybody fill out a fabric square with their favorite poem or quote or whatever they wanted to say to Arrow. Then I had that made into a quilt for him, with his name embroidered onto it. Now I take his monthly photos on the quilt.

What are the cool things for parents and kids to do where you live?

It's definitely an outdoorsy town, so we like to go hiking a lot, kayaking in the summer, and sledding when it snows. They also do lots of summer concerts and farmer's markets that we really enjoy — Willow gets down and starts dancing! We try and spend time outdoors as much as possible for sure.

Sarah's (and Arrow's) Favorite Things

Ergo Baby Carrier

We couldn't live without this!

Padded Mat

This has been a lifesaver because Arrow is just learning how to sit up — he'll fall back and he's totally fine!

Fresh Food Feeder

You can put fruit and other food in here before they're ready to eat solids — Arrow loves it!

Baby Faces

We've been showing Arrow a lot of baby faces recently.

Click here to see the entire Baby Shopping Guide or our Pregnancy Shopping List. And check out the Nameberry Amazon Store to see all products recommended in How I Named My Baby.

Thank you so much, Sarah!

Photos via Sarah, Acapello Photography, and @Indiejessphotography

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About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top 2020s names, Gen Z names, and cottagecore baby names. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest.

Sophie Kihm's articles on names have run on People, Today, The Huffington Post, and more. She has been quoted as a name expert by The Washington Post, People, The Huffington Post, and more. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at Sophie lives in Chicago.