Being first in a family has its upsides and its downsides. A first child is adored and doted on, given much attention, and watched over with care and caution. Parents are controlling, following every rule they know, and yet learning through trial and error. Not being there, I cannot say for sure how extreme these typical traits were in our parents. However, I know that Joan felt a big responsibility to be the best she could be. And I know how much our parents loved her and that she always strove to please them and make them proud. And as her siblings came along, she loved each of them and helped with their care.
As I read about firstborns I compare their traits with Joan's. It is said that they often tend to be:
Structured? Yes. By comparison to her younger sister, the middle one, she was very orderly, tidy, and, yes, structured. She could hardly stand an messy house or things out of place. However, her creative side—from which her natural love and talent for writing and storytelling came—probably made being structured and organized challenging.
And she was certainly cautious. She was quiet and shy, never quite certain that she could measure up to the expectations of others. It was hard for her to put herself forward where she might face criticism. But the fact that something was hard never stopped Joanie from doing it anyway. Controlling? Yes, I believe she was, though she may never have seen herself that way. How can anyone so conscientious not want to control their environment?